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Theatre To Present Provocative Plays For Second Repertory

July 22, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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students waiting to audition in the Performing Arts Center
Students await their turn to audition for "Boom," one of four plays presented as part of the theatre and musical theatre department's second repertory beginning July 25. —Photo by Brian Blalock

Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre will explore themes of human nature, friendship and love during four plays presented as part of its Summer II Repertory Theatre July 25 through Aug. 1.

Performances of John-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit,” William Nicholson’s “Retreat from Moscow,” Diana Son’s “Stop Kiss” and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s “Boom” will be presented at 8 p.m. during each play’s two-night run in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theatre.

“No Exit,” directed by senior theatre major Travis Meador, will kick off the series of plays July 25-26.

The 1944 existentialist French play follows three recently deceased characters who arrive in hell, only to find that their hell is simply a room where the three will coexist.

As they learn more about each other, these complex, damned characters show their true colors and must navigate the traps and pitfalls of hell, according to Meador.

“I wanted to direct this show because it is a really great character piece that showcases the actors' abilities,” Meador said. “The play is also still incredibly relevant for today's audiences; the show functions as a cautionary tale about human nature.”

“Retreat From Moscow,” presented July 27-28 and directed by senior theatre major Gerald Kroon, tells the story of a couple married for 33 years when the husband reveals to his wife and son that he has met another woman.

Senior theatre major Lauren Smith will direct “Stop Kiss,” a touching story of two friends, Sara and Callie, whose “dance along the blurred lines of friendship and romance” turns tragic. The play will be presented July 29-30.

“Once they test the waters, their world is turned upside down when they are spotted kissing for the first time in a public park. Both are attacked, throwing one of the girls into a coma,” Smith said. “The show goes back and forth portraying the current moment and past moments between the girls and developing their relationship throughout.

“It's not meant to be a gay show, not meant to shove homosexuality down anyone's throat; I chose this because I myself am a gay woman that came out not too long ago,” Smith said. “I wanted to show people the not-so-easy process of what it's like to actually fall for a woman, for lack of a better term.”

The Summer II repertory season will close out with “Boom,” July 31 and Aug. 1.

Directed by University Theatre Center manager Katie Stefaniak, “Boom” centers on Jules, a marine biologist, and Jo, a journalism student, whose attempt to have a “no strings attached” encounter takes on a larger significance as the play unfolds.

When Jo shows up in Jules’s small underground laboratory on a university campus, having answered an online ad for a hookup that promises “sex to change the course of the world,” their encounter is given “unorthodox assistance” by a mysterious, lever-pulling, drum playing, scientist we come to know as “Barbara.”

“Concerned for her safety after finding cabinets full of diapers, bourbon and tampons, Jo tries numerous times to escape, much to the chagrin of her ‘date’ for the evening, who just wants to share his thoughts on life, his stacks of data and his need to repopulate the world, because did he mention…a comet is due to hit our planet in seven minutes,” Stefaniak said.

Stefaniak said she chose “Boom” as a means of exploring the constant bombarding in our lives of scenarios asking “what if.”

“What if computers can’t make the year 2000 update? What if our country goes to war with another country that uses bio-nuclear weapons? What if our planet runs out of safe drinking water? What if earth is hit by a giant comet? What if we didn’t have a play-by-play look into the life of the Kardashians…would we survive?” she asks.

“This play has great dialogue and memorable characters that I thought would be a fun challenge to the entire production team and a great addition to the summer repertory season,” she said.

All shows contain adult themes.

During each evening’s presentation, parking will be available behind the Newton Gresham Library, and a complimentary golf cart will be in the parking lot to assist patrons to the theatre door.

Tickets are $5.

For more information, call the University Theatre Center at 936.294.1329.



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