Theatre students’ Last Day of The Locust focuses on Hollywood and the Great Depression

Brandon Maron 
Arts Reporter

Third-year Humber theatre student Clayton Batson didn’t feel a sense of relief after opening night of the latest play by Humber Lakeshore theatre class.

But it offered him a chance to improve his performance in the Tuesday, March 6 premiere of The Day of the Locust, the winter show of the graduating theatre class.

The two-act play, directed by Karin Randoja, a teacher at Lakeshore campus, shows a dark, satirical and hilarious look into the world of film in Hollywood during the Great Depression. It runs until Friday at the Humber Studio Theatre on Birmingham Street.

“What can I do better, what can I get from last night? How did it feel last night? It’s an opportunity to try it again,” said Batson after the first show. “So, it’s not really a relief, I can build off the audience’s reactions and try to do better.”

The students’ range of talents, including Batson’s, were on full display, performing several musical numbers and generating constant laughter from the audience.

Batson is unsure of what his next move after he graduates this summer, but he hopes to somehow make his way into the industry whether it’s film or stage.

“Though it was written a long time ago, I find the themes, the dialogue, and the surreal characters completely applicable to the entertainment industry of today,” Randoja said.

The Day of the Locust explores a small group of actors and writers trying to make it big in Hollywood and doing anything it takes to break through. Sex, inequality, corruption and the desire for fame ultimately drove everyone involved into hysterical madness.

“There’s only 12 people in our class, which is the lowest in eight to 10 years,” said Prasanna Mondal, one of the stars of the play. “It’s really good though because we get a lot of one-on-one time with teachers and get more lines in our productions.”

Once the play wraps up, the students head right back into rehearsals for their next production about a circus for the end of April. The students have had no time for a break since December because of the five-week faculty strike  last term.

“Rehearsals start next week for our end of April production,” said student and actress Abi Stushnoff. “We went straight from our show in January into rehearsals for this one and then right into the next one, so it’s a marathon.”

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