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updated: 1/5/2011 10:20 AM

Curtain rises on 'Quake' at North Central College

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  • The comedy "Quake" opens tonight at North Central College in Naperville and continues through the weekend.

    The comedy "Quake" opens tonight at North Central College in Naperville and continues through the weekend.
    Courtesy North Central College

By Jennifer Wheeler

Kati Riess is leaving her fingerprints all over this weekend's production of "Quake" at North Central College in Naperville.

Riess not only is playing the lead role of Lucy in the comedy, but also is helping out behind the scenes by creating costumes for the entire cast.

The Naperville woman initially planned on working solely in the wardrobe department. She says she enjoys helping set the mood for shows and picked out costumes in previous plays that Director Deborah Palmes produced.

But then she auditioned for the show, too. How hard could it be, she thought, to juggle both jobs?

A little tougher, it turns out, than she thought.

Riess, a junior theater major, says she's constantly on the move, either memorizing her lines and blocking formations on stage or hemming pants and fixing zippers off it.

"It's an enormous task, even if you didn't have the leading role in the play," Palmes said of the costume responsibilities. Add the role as Lucy to the mix and "it's more of an intense experience."

All of her hard work will come together when the curtain rises on "Quake" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The show continues at the same time through Saturday, Jan. 8, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9, at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville.

The play is about a woman named Lucy who is trying to find the love of her life, but ends up making the same classic dating mistakes that many modern women do.

"It does not have a traditional plot line of boy meets girl and falls in love. It's girl meets boy after boy after boy," Palmes said. "(Lucy's) seeking the love of her life and trying to figure out why it isn't working."

Palmes first heard about the show when a student presented it during a class final project. For some reason, she couldn't get it out of her head. She ended up reading the play from cover to cover and decided she had to put it on.

The entire crew began powering forward after its November casting to make sure the show would go on without a hitch. For three weeks, cast members rehearsed six hours a day, knowing they wouldn't have much time to practice after their winter break.

For Riess, the two-week break made the show all that much more difficult because she had to continue memorizing her lines even when the cast wasn't rehearsing.

"I've been looking over my lines and the blocking in my head," she said. "It's nice costume-wise but, as a character, I like to keep going because the break goes slow."

When the cast finally reunited Jan. 2, it only took a few run-throughs to get back in the groove, Palmes said.

During rehearsals, Riess found herself pulled in two directions -- one involving costumes and the other involving her lines.

All that ends tonight, though, when the curtain finally goes up and Riess can concentrate fully on her last major task: bringing Lucy to life.