West Virginia University at Parkersburg
WVU Parkersburg Theatre Department to present
CONTACT: Andrew Clovis, theatre director, 304-424-8295.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Virginia University at Parkersburg's Theatre Department will present “Death by Durang: An Evening of Christopher Durang One-Act Comedies” on Friday-Sunday (Oct. 3-5).
Showtime is 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday (Oct. 3 and 4)and 2 p.m., Sunday (Oct. 5) in the College Theatre.
The three plays include The Actor’s Nightmare, Funeral Parlor and the Obie award-winning Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You.
The Actor’s Nightmare tells the story of George who is…well…he is not an actor. However, he finds himself in the unfortunate position of having to perform not only in Hamlet, but also in Private Lives by Noel Coward, A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt and a weird amalgamation of Samuel Beckett pieces. Funeral Parlor, originally written for a Carol Burnett television special, examines the relationship between a grieving widow and a very casual acquaintance of her late husband. One of Durang’s most produced and popular plays, Sister Mary hilariously explores the chasm of true faith and faith that follows only the letter of the law.
Jason Gwynn of Parkersburg, a WVU Parkersburg student, plays the role of George in The Actor’s Nightmare. Rounding out that cast are Stacey Boyce, also of Parkersburg, as the imaginative Dame Ellen Terry; Layla Halfhill, of Parkersburg as Meg, the authoritarian Stage Manager; Paula Oliverio, of Belmont, as the grand Dame Sarah Siddons and Jim Vaughn, also of Parkersburg, as the imperious Sir Henry Irving. Paula Oliverio is featured as Susan, the grieving widow in Funeral Parlor, with Jim Vaughn playing Marcus, the eccentric friend of the deceased.
A local theatre veteran, Paula Carroll portrays Sister Mary Ignatius. Nicole Derenberger of Parkersburg plays Dianne Symmonds, one of Sister’s none too well adjusted former students. Phillip Eakins of Parkersburg performs as Aloysius Benheim, another former pupil. Jason Gwynn plays Gary Sullavan, also from Sister’s class of 1979 with Heather Wriston of Parkersburg as Philomena Rostovich, the last returning member of her class. Jeff Wilson of Parkersburg plays Sister’s current seven-year-old parochial student.
The production is under the direction and design of Andrew Clovis of St. Marys, with Shielia Blackwell of Parkersburg and Robert Decker of St. Marys serving as assistant stage managers. Patrick Garvey of Parkersburg serves as production assistant.
Raised in the Catholic faith and educated at Harvard and Yale, Durang won the 1980 Off-Broadway Theatre Award for Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You. It and The Actor’s Nightmare have proved to be two of the most produced American one-act plays. Durang’s Funeral Parlor was originally written for the 1987 Emmy winning Carol Burnett television special, Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin. Other awards include the 1986 Drama Desk award for The Marriage of Bette And Boo, which also garnered an Obie. His A History of American Film received a Tony nomination. He is the author of Beyond Therapy, The Nature and Purpose of the Universe and 1999’s Obie winner Betty’s Summer Vacation among many others. Christopher Durang is currently the co-chair of the drama department at Julliard University.
Tickets are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students. WVU Parkersburg faculty, staff and students may purchase tickets in advance for $1.00. Tickets are available in the college Business Office, 424-8223.
For additional information, contact:
Director of Communications
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