“I and You” production successful despite last-minute casting change

Anthony, played by Joshua Bishop, and Caroling, played by Kaila Vander Wielen, work on their poetry project for their American literature course. • photo by Vinnie Oestreich

Joshua Bishop accepted the lead role of I and You at the UW-Fox Valley Theatre after the play’s original actor withdrew halfway through production. Despite the time crunch, the play was a success.

Bishop had only seven days to rehearse.

Bishop talked about how it was a struggle for him to learn the play in half of the amount of time intended.

“It wasn’t like I could do a lot of character development and then review the lines; it all had to happen at once. [I had] to memorize and build a character from the ground up in a short amount of time,” Bishop said.

Theatre Director Susan Rabideau said the withdrawal was one of the play’s biggest challenges.

“The biggest challenge is that two actors [were] involved and one of our actors withdrew from the play midway through the rehearsals,” Rabideau said.

There are only two actors in this show. Kaila Vander Wielen, a UW-Fox freshman, played Caroling, and Bishop played Anthony.

Bishop is a community actor who went to college in New York at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

The play I and You is about two high school students who work on an American literature assignment about poetry.

Caroling helps Anthony with the art part of this poetry project for their American literature class. Caroling loves photography and views it as an art.

Caroling has a ton of different pictures all over her wall such as cats, Johnny Cash and some scenery pictures. She uses her photography talent and applies it to her American literature assignment.

Caroling is a feisty, direct and loud character who tends to yell at Anthony for the majority of the play.

Vander Wielen talked about what she liked most about the play and her character.

“I really like any time that Caroling gets angry. I just get to start screaming in Anthony’s face,” Vander Weilen said. “Not only is that really fun to actually do on stage because in real life you don’t scream in people’s faces, [but] I think that it reveals a lot about what is going on with Caroling.”

On the other hand, Anthony is outgoing, athletic, sincere and a little nerdy.

The play depicts the contrasts in their personalities, but toward the end of the play, these two high schoolers proved that opposites attract.

Anthony and Caroling are very energetic. They act just like typical high school students, showing situations that high schoolers face in life.

Throughout the play, there are a lot of twists that one may not expect to happen. Particularly, the ending’s plot twist left many audience members speechless and in shock.

“I loved the unexpected qualities of the play. I think when most people watch the play, they will think it is heading in one direction, [but] it verses off of that path, and it goes off into another direction,” Rabideau said.

“This play was very interesting and entertaining. I was so surprised about the major plot twist. I didn’t expect that to happen,” Kassidy, an audience member, said.

Turnout was a success. Every single seat was sold on all three days of the play’s showing.

“I hope to keep infusing our art, mainly theater into people’s lives. I hope that I can keep creating art,” Rabideau said.

Three showings of I and You were performed at the UW-Fox Valley Theatre Feb. 23–25.