A play running at the University of Central Florida from Feb. 18 to Feb. 28 will leave the actors speechless – literally.
Without using a single word, “Reeling” is the heartfelt story of a persistent young man who doesn’t let his obstacles get the best of him, according to the UCF Theatre’s website.
The cast of “Reeling” focuses on telling the story using only their bodies.
“Not only do the characters need to be clear in expressiveness and accurate in their staged comic fights, but do so in a precomposed rhythm – not something the actors were used to doing,” said Christopher Niess, director of "Reeling" and an associate professor in theatre UCF.
The play is staged so that those watching feel as if they are in the middle of the film studio that the main character, Little Fellow, inhabits.
“Reeling” embraces the 1920s silent-film era.
“The play also carries a bit of cultural history with it in its optimism and belief in the American Dream that is sweet and compelling,” Niess said.
It follows the story of the character Little Fellow, played by Blaine Edwards, a Master of Fine Arts degree candidate at UCF.
Edwards said he finds playing the role of Little Fellow to be extremely fun, yet physically challenging.
“I have never left a rehearsal so exhausted yet fulfilled at the same time,” Edwards said. “Apparently I bruise easily, but with each bruise there is a memory of a moment.”
“Reeling” is the first play that Edwards has acted in that does not use words. Since he has no dialogue, he relies on his body and eyes to convey emotion.
“The most enjoyable moments of ‘Reeling’ are the ones that involved the entire cast. This is an ensemble-based show and when all the people are together and working together to tell the story, it has been the most enjoyable and rewarding,” Edwards said.
Little Fellow’s love interest in “Reeling” is played by Nicolette Quintero.
Quintero’s character, Beloved, is a country girl who is chasing her dreams of becoming a movie star, according to Quintero.
“’Reeling‘ is one of the most unique plays I have ever performed in,” Quintero said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to express myself using only movement.”
Quintero said not being able to speak while performing makes it difficult to portray the story to the audience, but it also allows more stunts to be added into the show.
“When a person comes to see ‘Reeling,’ they can expect to have a good laugh while watching a heartwarming story told through the style of a timeless, vintage film,” Quintero said.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students with a UCF ID.
Event dates and times:
Feb. 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m.
Feb. 21, 27 and 28 at 2 p.m.
For more information about “Reeling,” visit here or call 407-823-1500.