Zeringue (right) closely supervises Clarence Wethern and Daniel Thomas
as they perform one final rehearsal for Southeastern Theatre’s “This Is
Our Youth,” running tonight through Saturday at Southeastern Louisiana
University’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
SLU STUDENT MAKES DIRECTING DEBUT IN “THIS IS OUR YOUTH” JULY 24-27
HAMMOND -- Jacob Zeringue was merely a toddler in 1982, when “E.T.” broke box office records, and “Cheers” first hit the television airwaves. Twenty years later, he is breaking through in the entertainment industry with his first experience as a director in Southeastern Theatre’s production of Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth.”
The Reagan-era comedy will run July 24-27 at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
Zeringue’s premiere directing role brings him back to the year he turned three years old, when the play’s three rich, smart and bored 19-year-old “punks” are living in a New York City studio apartment, coming of age and learning that actions have consequences.
“‘This Is Our Youth’ is so nostalgic, I couldn’t help but pick it,” said Zeringue. “It is brilliantly written, it seems like you are watching day-to-day life, not a production. It has such a great appeal, not only to people who are the characters’ ages (18-20 years), but also to those who were teenagers who faced many of the same decisions and situations in that time period.”
Zeringue, a Bogalusa native and active member of Southeastern Theatre, has acted in nine theatrical productions in the past two years. He has also appeared in two films, one television show, and in Southeastern’s Nameless Improv Comedy Show and Forbidden Theatre Halloween Show. With his set-building and backstage experience added in, Zeringue was looking for the perfect opportunity to round out his theatre experiences with directing. Along came the summer, one of the few times Southeastern Theatre productions are directed by students.
“I wanted to see what the other side of the table had to offer, sit in every chair in the theatre. Kay Files, our faculty advisor, gave me this rare opportunity,” said Zeringue, clutching a clipboard amidst a set consisting of a single bed, a couch, tattered leather jackets, ripped up jeans and vinyl records.”I now know that directing isn’t just watching the production. It’s a tremendous amount of hard work, many readings and keeping every aspect true to form.”
The junior theatre major’s trial by fire during three short weeks rehearsal hasn’t discouraged him from pursuing another directing position.
“Acting is a love of mine, but now that I’ve dove into directing head first, I’m going to have to do a little more experimenting to determine which I like better,” said Zeringue.
Zeringue added the rated “R” production (due to adult language and content) will leave the audience pondering many unended situations and relationships.
“Questions in the production are left to the imagination,” he said.
Joining Zeringue in the cast are Rusty Gregoire of Pumpkin Center as stage manager, Clarence Wethern of New Orleans as Dennis, a famous painter's son; Daniel Thomas of Ponchatoula as Warren, a suitcase-toting 19-year-old who has impulsively stolen $15,000 from his father; and Tiffany Kuyrkendall Long of Baton Rouge as Jessica, a mixed-up fashion design student.
“This Is Our Youth” will open nightly Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.. General admission tickets, $5, will be available at the door.
For additional information, call 985-549-3546.