Behind the curtain: Ciarah Mosley and Justin Crutchfield: Members of the ‘Flow’ cast talk about the show
The Bonstelle Theatre is once again preparing its stage for show time. Its newest production, “Flow,” brings a modern feeling to the theater. Director Aku Kadogo, along with the cast, wants to attract a younger audience.
Justin Crutchfield and Ciarah Mosley, two actors in “Flow,” said there are several themes that resonate throughout but “the story is basically how information and stories must be passed down through time.”
Mosley, a senior, plays the role of Swea P, as well as some other minor roles. Crutchfield, also a senior, plays the DJ who “scratches throughout the entire show.” Mosley said the scratches are important to the flow and vibe of the show and Crutchfield describes the play as “a hip-hop fairytale.”
Originally derived from Will Power’s off-Broadway one-man-show, “Flow” tells the story of seven people while one person narrates, raps and sings over the entire show. The show is described as having hip-hop sensibility and incorporates western African storytelling, dance and music.
Crutchfield said he started acting when he was 10 in “either the ‘Wizard of Oz’ or ‘Oliver Twist.’” He stopped acting until high school before picking it up again, and he’s been doing it ever since. Mosley has always considered acting as a third thought, behind singing and dancing.
This week the cast is moving onto the actual Bonstelle Theatre stage to start practicing. Mosley said the stage is “unique” and “never been done before.” They described it as a protruding half-circle that extends out into the audience. This renders the first couple of rows of seats unusable.
Crutchfield and Mosley also traveled together to Australia with Kadogo through the Links program. Mosley said they learned how “universal” theater is and honed their skills in a foreign country.
While there, they saw a modern, futuristic version of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” which happens to be one of Mosley’s favorite types of theater, as well as musical theater.
Crutchfield is more partial to contemporary theater and one-man-shows.
“I like when people are cutting edge … and work to incorporate technology into theater.” he said.
Crutchfield added that while music is an important part, “Flow” is not considered a musical.
“I can see someone calling it a musical,” he said. “We have rhymes. It’s like speaking with music. Music is involved the entire time.”
The Bonstelle is taking this to heart by introducing Twitter night. On Feb. 19, 25 patrons will be invited into the balcony for a discounted price and are encouraged to Tweet about the performance before the show, during intermission and after the show. The cast will be responding to people’s Tweets during the break and the theater will be handing out guidelines on etiquette for the Twitter seats.
“Flow” will be Kadogo’s last show at the Bonstelle as she is leaving to be a guest lecturer at Yong In University in Seoul, South Korea.
“(Kadogo) is like a second mother to me,” Mosley said. “I look up to her and everything she does.”
“Flow” premieres Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. and runs through Feb. 27.