‘Catherine’s Wheel’ to debut at FIU this weekend

FIU’s summer Alternative Theatre Festival is in full swing. This week, Thursday through Saturday, Catherine’s Wheel continues at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center.

The new play is part of the FIU theater department’s New Play Development Project and is being produced for the first time.

Alumna Melissa Ann Hubicsak ’09 said she was approached for the lead in Catherine’s Wheel just a month before it premiered and didn’t receive the final scene—still being rewritten—until three days before the production opened.

“I was developing my character as the words were coming,” she said. “It’s cool to have been part of the first, the original.”

Hubicsak as Catherine in Catherine's Wheel

Alumna Melissa Ann Hubicsak, right, as Catherine in Catherine’s Wheel

The play, which looks at introspection and finding oneself, has been especially significant to Hubicsak, who draws many parallels between herself and Catherine.

“I think this play holds a mirror to people,” she said. “With Catherine I’m connected to the fact that when I was younger I had a difficult childhood and I made my humor, my wits my scapegoat.”

FIU professor Michael Yawney, who is directing the production, likewise sees himself in the play and says that it causes people to question if they are who they think they are.

“Catherine thought she was a good person, and realizes she’s not the person she thought she was,” he said. “I’ve been through that. Everyone goes through that. What I enjoy most is the way the play keeps reinventing itself. Every scene has 20 surprises.”

Yawney added that FIU’s support of new projects is a vital way for FIU to connect to the national theater community. As the plays are published and performed, “FIU Theatre is spread and acknowledged outside of South Florida.”

The festival continues July 24-26 and July 31-August 2 with Play On! by Rick Abbot, the comedy about a theater troupe’s attempt to put on a play in spite of an author who continuously changes the script.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the door. Each performance begins at 8 p.m.

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