The Winonan

Large cast makes “Hot L Baltimore” succeed

Mr.+Katz+%28Adam+Calcagno%29+walks+away+from+Jackie+%28Stephanie+Trypuc%29+in+the+spring+play+%E2%80%9CHot+L+Baltimore.%E2%80%9D+The+play+ran+April+11-14+on+the+Vivian+Fusillo+Main+Stage+Theatre.+
Mr. Katz (Adam Calcagno) walks away from Jackie (Stephanie Trypuc) in the spring play “Hot L Baltimore.” The play ran April 11-14 on the Vivian Fusillo Main Stage Theatre.

Mr. Katz (Adam Calcagno) walks away from Jackie (Stephanie Trypuc) in the spring play “Hot L Baltimore.” The play ran April 11-14 on the Vivian Fusillo Main Stage Theatre.

Morgan Reddekopp

Morgan Reddekopp

Mr. Katz (Adam Calcagno) walks away from Jackie (Stephanie Trypuc) in the spring play “Hot L Baltimore.” The play ran April 11-14 on the Vivian Fusillo Main Stage Theatre.

Kellen Brandt, Features Reporter

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Winona State University’s theatre and dance department presented their final main stage production of the year, “Hot L Baltimore,” April 11-14.

Jim Williams, a theatre professor at Winona State, directed the play.

“Hot L Baltimore” was written by Lanford Wilson and published in 1973. The play takes place in a run-down hotel in Baltimore, Maryland in the mid-1970s.

The residents of Hotel Baltimore each have their own unique storyline that end up converging together with all the other characters by the end of the play.

Each character begins the play struggling alone, unable to accept that they will all be evicted from their homes. By the end of the play all the characters end up coming together to help one another get through the day-to-day trials of life.   

The entirety of the play takes place in the lobby of Hotel Baltimore itself. Due to the lack of changing scenes, the play is made up purely of conversation and interaction between the characters.

Morgan Reddekopp
Jackie (played by Stephanie Trypuc) has a dramatic moment onstage while two characters(Right:Rochelle Hovde, Left: Ella Dierberger) mingle behind her. “Hot L Baltimore” took place from April 11-14 in the Performing Arts Center.

This play explores the relationships between people from all walks of life, converging together to try and understand life itself and everything life throws at these characters. The play has a large cast of 14 members and over 20 people in the production staff.

One of the many members of the play, Ella Dierberger, a senior theatre major, plays the role of “Girl”.

Dierberger explained how difficult it was keeping the play upbeat when so many of the characters have such hard backgrounds.    

“The most challenging part of my role was keeping the energy up during the show. The Girl sets the pacing of the show, and I had to start the show rolling and make sure the audience was engaged right away,” Dierberger said. “I also had to keep the show lighthearted. The subject matter of the show is pretty dark, so I made sure to keep the audience comfortable by projecting positive energy and optimism from my character.”

Many Winona State students attended and took part in the play. From first-year students attending their first play to seniors finishing their time in the theatre department, “Hot L Baltimore” brought Winona State’s student body together.   

Brooke Powell, a first-year communications major, attended the play opening night.

“I have been to a couple of the plays here and the ones I have been to have had a significantly smaller cast than this one,” Powell said. “I liked that there were so many people in it because it created so much more action and another level of intensity, because there was always so much happening.”

This play is unique because the set never changes. The entirety of the play happens in the lobby, with any event outside of the lobby being unknown to the viewer. Having such a centralized set, it leaves a lot to the spectator to decide what happened to the characters outside of the lobby.

The music in the play was another unique aspect because whenever music came on it was portrayed as if it was coming out of an old-school boombox on the set of the play.

“I love how everything that happened on stage happened for a reason. The music was never just randomly there, but it came out of an actual radio onstage and was always turned on by a character in the play,” Powell said. “It just felt so real and not like I was even watching a play, but like I was watching it all happen in real time.”

Mr. Katz (Adam Calcagno), center, smokes a cigarette while Mrs. Belloti (Hannah Angle), right, tries to talk to him. “Hot L Baltimore” took place from April 11-14 in the Performing Arts Center.

Katrina Pfaffenbach, a first-year psychology and cell molecular biology major, also attended the play.

“I haven’t been to any of the other plays here at Winona but I wish I would have after I saw this one. It was awesome seeing people I know from around campus and classes on stage performing,” Pfaffenbach said. “It was such a different atmosphere in the performing arts center than it is in the classroom so it was just really cool seeing people there instead of studying in the library or sitting quietly in class.”

Dierberger is very involved in the theatre department, she has taken part in every single production at Winona State since her first year.

“Not only have I acted in many productions, I have also been props assistant, assistant stage manager, choreographer, costume designer, lighting designer, wardrobe supervisor, dresser, sound board operator, producer and master electrician. I also work down in the costume shop, where I help to sew the costumes for all productions.” Dierberger said.

Another student very involved in the production is Stephanie Trypuc, a junior majoring in public relations and theatre arts. Trypuc played the role of Jackie in the production and was also in charge of production publicity.

“I was a part of the entire rehearsal process and painted the banner and made the program. I also worked in the scene shop and helped build the set,” Trypuc said. “The amount of time that needs to be committed is always the greatest challenge. It changes your lifestyle for sure. The fact that we create what we do is the reason I’m doing it.”

Like Dierberger, Trypuc has been involved in theatre department since her first year here at Winona State also. At least once a semester, Trypuc has either been an actor in the play, or has been a part of the behind the scenes crew.

The students involved in the play keep Winona States theatre department alive and exciting, but more than that, they bring passion into the productions they perform.

“Making art and sharing that and showing where all the time and hard work goes is the most enriching and empowering feelings in the world. I love the people I work with and that’s by far the best part.” Trypuc said.

Morgan Reddekopp
Suzy(Becca Borchardt) drinks champagne as she prepares to move from the hotel in Winona State’s production of “Hot L Baltimore.” The play took place April 11-14 in the Performing Arts Center.

“I haven’t been to any of the other plays here at Winona, but I wish I would have after I saw this one. It was awesome seeing people I know from around campus and classes on stage performing,” Pfaffenbach said. “It was such a different atmosphere in the Performing Arts Center than it is in the classroom, so it was just really cool seeing people there instead of studying in the library or sitting quietly in class.”

Dierberger is very involved in the theatre department, she has taken part in every single production at Winona State since her first year.

“Not only have I acted in many productions, I have also been props assistant, assistant stage manager, choreographer, costume designer, lighting designer, wardrobe supervisor, dresser, sound board operator, producer and master electrician,” Dierberger said. “I also work down in the costume shop, where I help sew the costumes for all productions.”

Another student very involved in the production is Stephanie Trypuc, a junior double majoring in public relations and theatre arts. Trypuc played the role of Jackie in the production and was also in charge of production publicity.

“I was a part of the entire rehearsal process, painted the banner and made the program. I also worked in the scene shop and helped build the set,” Trypuc said. “The amount of time that needs to be committed is always the greatest challenge. It changes your lifestyle for sure. The fact that we create what we do is the reason I’m doing it.”

Like Dierberger, Trypuc has also been involved in Winona State’s theatre department since her first year. At least once a semester, Trypuc has been either an actor in the play, or a part of the behind-the-scenes crew.

The students involved in the play keep Winona States theatre department alive and exciting, but more than that, they bring passion into the productions they perform.

“Making art, sharing that and showing where all the time and hard work goes is the most enriching and empowering feeling in the world,” Trypuc said. “I love the people I work with and that’s by far the best part.”

Morgan Reddekopp
(Right to left) Mr. Morse (Carew Halleck) speaks to hotel desk clerk Bill Lewis (Cameron Lornston) in Winona State’s recent production of “Hot L Baltimore,” which ran from April 11-14 in the Performing Art Center’s Vivian Fusillo Theatre.

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Large cast makes “Hot L Baltimore” succeed