‘Rebel without a Cause’ set to drive audiences on a wild ride


Director Kevin Slay gets into the minds of his actors to make sure they understand the emotions that go into the scene that they are working on.

Cerritos College breathes new life into bad boy character Jim Stark in its production of “Rebel Without a Cause” that opens Friday, Feb 28. 

Cristian Paul Martinez, who plays Plato, can feel the difference of the production based on the stage alone.

“Stylistically it’s in a completely different ballpark,” he said. “We are going to be on a thrust stage, so we will almost be completely surrounded by the audience.”

A thrust stage comes out toward the audience and the viewers of the show will be seated all around the stage, rather than directly in front of the stage.

However, Director Kevin Slay wants to use the unusual stage to his advantage.

“The audience much closer to the actions,” Slay said. “We’ll be using the area on the part and it creates a level of immediacy for the audience. It forces the actors to really rise to the occasion and it has to be real all the time.”

Besides the stage, the way rehearsals have gone has also stood out to Martinez.

“It’s not in a short burst like the other productions I have been in,” he said. “It’s actually been nice that we have a lot more time with the cast, so we can bond.”
Sebastian Lopez started off as an extra, but now plays Cookie and likes the story the productions has to offer.

“It’s been pretty cool,” he said. “I started off as a regular extra, but I moved up in life. So know I have a name and I am suppose to go steal some cars.”
Although he use to be an extra, he does not think that extras are any less important to the show.

“Extras are pretty important, because it brings out the life of the production,” Lopez said. “It makes it a little more realistic. If you didn’t have any extras up there, then it would be dead on stage.”

Arielle Martinez, an extra as two character, feels that the bond of the cast has strengthened them as a whole.

“It’s fun, because I have had Kevin (Slay) as a teacher, he knows how I work and we all work together,” she said. “Everyone always says this in every production that we are like a family, but we have gotten really close and I love everyone on this production.”

Slay also thinks that already having a working relationship with his cast has helped the production move along

“There is a level of trust that is there and that is something that we can build on,” Slay said. “It’s been cool to work with them and see them grow and continue to succeed.”

“Rebel Without a Cause” will be shown on March 1,6, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. with its final showing on March 9 at 2 p.m.