‘Inspecting Carol’ Worth Waiting For, GCU Senior Says

By Doug Carroll
Communications Staff

It’s not enough to say that Emily Kapla will be part of the first graduating class of the reconstituted College of Fine Arts and Production at GCU.

Kapla IS the graduating class.

The senior from Paradise Valley, who attended Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University before transferring this year to GCU, admits it will be “kind of cool” to have commencement all to herself in the spring.

In the meantime, she’s focused on making the most of her year, and she has a prominent role in the Ethington Theatre Series production of “Inspecting Carol,” which opens its six-show run on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7:30 p.m.

She’s happy to have found a home at GCU, where she enjoys being involved in something new.

“I needed a change (from NAU), and I thought about what an opportunity this would be,” Kapla says of her decision to transfer with only one year of study remaining toward a bachelor’s degree.

“The atmosphere in the theatre department here is uplifting. It’s awesome. Everyone has been so welcoming, and it was easy to slide in and be a part of it.”

“Inspecting Carol” is a comedic play within a play, telling the story of a small-town troupe’s hopelessly bungled production of the Charles Dickens holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol.” It’s a variation on a satirical play, “The Government Inspector,” by Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol about the zany goings-on in a small, corrupt town.

“Inspecting Carol” was written by American playwright and director Daniel J. Sullivan in 1991 and first performed by the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Coming as it does only four weeks after the closing of “All in the Timing,” the GCU cast has had to scramble to get the new show ready.

You won’t catch Kapla complaining. She says the play is so funny that the actors are constantly cracking up in rehearsals.

“It’s tight for a production in general — and especially for full-time students,” she says of the hurry-up schedule. “But it’s totally worth it. The pressure makes it even better. You’re forced to give all that you have. I love the thrill of it.”

Kapla plays the role of M.J., the stage director for the ill-fated theatrical production. In a sense, she has been preparing for the part for her entire life.

“When I was a kid, we did living-room productions where we used sheets for curtains and charged adults 10 cents and kids five cents to watch,” she says. “Later on, I was in as many things as I could be.”

Although Kapla wasn’t onstage in the season-opening “The Pirates of Penzance” or “All in the Timing,” she and others have been waiting their turn to shine. With each production this season, the college’s impressive depth of performing talent has been revealed.

“It’s kind of like peeling an onion,” says COFAP Dean Claude Pensis. “It will be that way the whole season.”

For tickets to “Inspecting Carol,” which goes on at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday during its two-weekend run, call the Ethington box office at 639.8880.

Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or [email protected].

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