The long, hardworking, after-school hours of reading lines and getting into character can mean only one thing — the theater is getting ready for its first production.

The Theatre Repertory Performance Company (the Rep Company) will debut its fall production season with Noel Coward’s “Private Lives.” Performances will be at 8 p.m. Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 4-6, and 2 p.m. Oct. 7 at Studio Theatre in Building 25, room 110.

Fourth-year theater student Chase Atherton and third-year theater student Caleigh Zwahlen will star in this production.

Actors Collaborating Technicians co-presidents Caleigh Zwahlen and Chase Atherton will star in “Private Lives” later this fall. (Jacqueline Ayala | The Poly Post)

“Private Lives” is set in a European hotel where divorcees Elyot Chase (played by Atherton) and Amanda Prynne (played by Zwahlen) are honeymooning with their new spouses in the same hotel.

Elyot and Amanda realize there is still a connection between each other and create a plan to run away together. However, old habits that broke up their marriage the first time return.

This will be both Atherton and Zwahlen’s second year with the Rep Company. They are very excited to be working together.

“It’s a short rehearsal process that was kind of scary to approach, but we’re excited,” Atherton said.

Atherton started acting when he was very little at the Christian Youth Theater, but it was not until later when he was in a theater class in high school where he went to go see “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in San Diego that he became very interested in theater.

Actor Michael Arden played the role of Quasimodo and Atherton watched how Arden’s portrayal of the infamous hunchback brought all different types of emotions to not only him, but also to the rest of the audience.

“I watched him be the most insane, complex and saddest hunchback I’ve ever watched in my life and it really inspired me to be someone who can bring characters to life and make people feel things,” Atherton said.

Zwahlen has always had a passion for acting from a young age and it makes feel her unique from the rest of her family.

Her family is business-oriented, as her parents studied business, her sister is an accounting student, and they all attended Cal Poly Pomona.

“It was something different and it was something my parents never talked about,” Zwahlen said. “I was in the fourth grade and we had these monologues, I was chosen out of only five to perform their monologue and I loved performing it in front of these people, [and] that’s when I knew I discovered my love for acting.”

Not only are they co-stars of “Private Lives,” but they are also co-presidents of Actors Collaborating with Technicians (A.C.T.).

A.C.T. started in 2015 and there was a different version of it before then, but it fell apart.

So, in 2015, it was re-created and the first show that was performed was “Spamalot,” in which Atherton was spotlight operator.

Atherton and Zwahlen then went on to perform in “Urinetown” and last year’s “Spring Awakening.”

Zwahlen said anyone interested must know that it is a very time-consuming club that requires a lot of dedication, and many who have joined have brought a lot of time and effort into making A.C.T. successful.

Atherton added that it is so much more than rehearsing and getting costumes, and there is so much that goes into each play produced.

“We produce an entire musical that is publicized on social media, creating fliers, putting up the fliers, doing concessions, designing the set … and so much more,” Atherton said.

There are lot of opportunities for students to show off their skills and any major is welcome to join A.C.T.

A.C.T. events include pizza during U-hour, movie night, an end-of-the-year banquet and soon, an all-new member of the month will be added.

For more information about joining A.C.T., meetings are every Tuesday in Building 24-1421.

Zwahlen said there will be a variety show on Oct. 3 from 6-10 p.m. in the studio theater.

The theme is the 1980s, so students can come dressed in ‘80s clothing and can sign up to perform any talent. All are welcome to come.

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