New play “Babette’s Feast” comes to Wallace Theatre

Luc Stringer | Banner | Ryan Lee, junior communications major, practices his piano skills before practice begins.

California Baptist University’s Wallace Theatre is bringing a new play to life. “Babette’s Feast” (1987), which takes place in 19th century Norway, will be performed on Feb. 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22.

The story revolves around characters Martine and Philippa, two sisters who welcome Babette, a French refugee, into their home in their 19th century Puritan town.

Frank Mihelich, associate professor of theater, is the director of CBU’s production of “Babette’s Feast” and said he also worked on the Broadway production of “Babette’s Feast.”

“The Broadway production was developed in New York City between 2008 and 2010. I had the great privilege of being part of the leadership team,” Mihelich said.

Rebecca Patty, senior theater and Christian studies double major, plays Martine and said it is her biggest role yet.

“Martine was already very important to me because of what I learned from her from reading and analyzing the play,” Patty said.

Patty said she has developed a special connection with the other actors in the production.

“It’s a really unique collaboration of so many different artists all working toward one vision, which is the telling of this story,” Patty said. “We’re all really passionate about our art, and making art together gives us such a unique relationship with one another — we’ve become like family.”

The students have a rigorous rehearsal schedule and prepare for the play by rehearsing Monday through Friday from 7-—11 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m.—2 p.m.  

Claire Grady, freshman exercise science major, plays Philippa in the production and said though rehearsals take time, she enjoys being part of the production.

“It is a lot of work. We have rehearsal every day but it’s a lot of fun. It’s a long process but it’s very rewarding. We see a lot of growth in ourselves and our cast,” Grady said.

Grady also noted that she has become a better performer since rehearsing for “Babette’s Feast.”

“I learned so much on how to work with the cast and how to grow as an actress and as a performer,” Grady said.

Tickets for the upcoming performances can be purchased at Wallace Theatre, online at calbaptist.edu/theatre or by calling 951-343-4319.

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