Published on March 22nd, 2012 | by TLV News0
Ole Miss Theatre: One-Act Plays (3/27-4/1)
Ole Miss Theatre presents An Evening with Christopher Durang, two one-act plays directed by Adam Brooks and Melissa McFeeters, Ole Miss Theatre students in the BA program. The two featured plays, The Actor’s Nightmare, directed by junior Brooks, and ‘dentity Crisis, directed by senior McFeeters, are performing on Tuesday, March 27 through Sunday, April 1 at 7:30 pm, with matinees on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1 at 2 pm. All performances are in Meek Auditorium.
These two one-acts showcase typical Durang quandaries: The Actor’s Nightmare follows the plight of George, an unknowing stranger who is thrown onto a stage and is supposed to know the lines and plot to a play for which he is ill-prepared; ‘dentity Crisis is a witty view into Jane’s recovery from a nervous breakdown, but the audience will soon discover that recovery may be an insurmountable task as all those around Jane are having identity crises of their own.
Christopher Durang is an American playwright well-known for his absurd sense of humor. Adam Brooks, who hails from Union, Mississippi, as director of The Actor’s Nightmare appreciates Durang’s process, “He’s not really subtle with the issues he often addresses in his works, but he approaches them in comically appropriate spoonfuls.” Durang’s zany take on things present a unique opportunity for Ole Miss students, placing them inside the mind of a brilliant, active writer.
“I think this play is absolutely hysterical,” Brooks said. “It comically touches on the worries that performers have while on stage as George’s situation spirals out of control. The characters and their contrasting elements are themselves engines for the accelerating confusion that fascinates me to no end, and the actors keep me laughing through every rehearsal.”
McFeeters, a Fort Worth, Texas, native, said of her experience with Durang’s work, “‘dentity Crisis is an absurdly funny and fast-paced show that has been such a fun play to direct. My cast is always willing to think outside of the box and try new things with their characters when I ask them to try something a little ‘out there.’”
And ‘out there’ is indeed one way to describe Durang’s satirical situations—George, a character who knows none of the characters he is meant to portray, and Jane, a delicate woman surrounded by fragmented and dissociated people, who throughout the play become other people.
It’s not just the directors who are getting their fair dose of Durang. Lydia Reed, costume designer for ‘dentity Crisis, enjoyed the piece so much, she has read several other plays written by Durang. She says, “This was the first play by Christopher Durang that I had read and because I liked it so much, I went and read several other works of his.” This exposure often leads to students choosing to seek a richer and more complex experience from the material they work with. We think the audience will feel the same way.
For tickets to the show, call the UM Box Office, (662) 915-7411. Meet the directors and designers in a question-and-answer session immediately following opening night performance on Tuesday, March 27. Adult content and situations.