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Mirroring Society on Stage: The Fine Arts Department Proudly Presents “Animal Farm”

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

By Jessica Espinoza

As the Barry community begins to grow accustomed to the new in-person semester, the fine arts department is ready to showcase their talents. Throughout the semester, the department will host an array of events, one of which is coming this fall. The theatre department will present “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.

Students in the Fine Arts department are already preparing for the production, which will run from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20.

“Animal Farm” is based off of George Orwell’s 1945 novel, in which the animals on a farm decide to rebel against their human farmer. The novel attempts to alert ordinary people to how hard-hearted leaders can take advantage of an entire population. The production hopes to emphasize this aspect, and how easy it is to fall into a hard-working loop, expecting reward only to receive nothing.

Director and assistant professor of the theatre program, Professor Elena Garcia, was almost overwhelmed by the number of students who wanted to participate in the show. She believes the different types of work students can do on the production will allow them to grow as artists.

“College performance is not only about doing the show but learning through the show,” Garcia said.

Flyer created by Tamia Leslie for November's theatre production of Animal Farm.

To allow them to learn as much as possible, Garcia allows her artists to take liberties when it comes to making the posters and doing the makeup for the show. Tamia Leslie, a senior graphic design major, is designing the poster for the production.

“I took ideas that Professor Garcia gave me and was able to make three versions of the product that I wanted to show her,” said Leslie. “Two of them are using many of her suggestions, while one is completely my own idea, based on all the information she had given me prior.”

Leslie has loved being a part of the show and enjoyed being given creative freedom.

Beyond creative liberty, senior theatre and music major Valeria Vega notes that theatre has helped her with her speech impediment and improved her social skills.

“[Theatre] helped me find me,” said Vega. “I feel more grounded because of it.”

Vega agreed with a lot of what Garcia had to say about the benefits of the show and its members.

“We all work together and are able to be very connected,” said Vega. “If one person were to lack or to drop out, then we are left incomplete and in deep problems.”

Beyond the team behind the show, Garcia believes this show will be important for today’s societal climate. She hopes students in the audience come in not only ready to appreciate the arts and the hard work that was put into the show, but also with an open mind to reflect on the story of “Animal Farm”.

“I want people to take a step back,” said Garcia. “To look inside themselves and be more active in what is happening in the world.”

Garcia also notes that this play is about oppression, something that is constantly happening in the world. Vega seconds this notion.

"Theater is a mirror for society,” Vega said.

Vega also issues a warning to students who want to watch this play. According to Vega, while it is a production for entertainment, it will “not be pretty, but it will be necessary.”

“Animal Farm” will have its opening night on Nov. 18, at 7PM in the Broad Auditorium. Tickets are free for all attending.

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