Bethany students star in fall theatre productions

Bethany College Theatre opens its 2009-2010 season with three performances November 5-7 featuring two short comedies, “Laundry and Bourbon” by James McClure and “The Author’s Voice” by Richard Greenberg. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.

In “Laundry and Bourbon” the role of Elizabeth will be played by freshman Mackenzie Haas, Longmont, Colo.; senior Brianna Kaiser of Hoisington, Kan., will play Hattie; and freshman Sarah Johnson, St. John, Kan., plays Amy Lee.

Cast members for “The Author’s Voice” include: sophomore Jordan Schwartz, Salina, Kan.; sophomore Chelsea Kenyon, Iola, Kan.; and sophomore Gabe Moore, Oberlin, Kan.

The plays are directed by Greg LeGault, assistant professor of theatre.

A back-porch on a lazy summer day in rural Texas simmers to a hilarious boil in “Laundry and Bourbon.” As the sun sets in on the small town of Maynard, Elizabeth searches in the distance for her missing husband, only to be joined by an unexpected and riotously funny duo of friends. The jokes fly as McClure deals each woman an unexpected chance to tease out the mysteries of her past, the hiccups of her romances and the possibility of the coming day.

According to Phillip Brandes of the Los Angeles Times, “Without ever breaking the comic tone, [the characters of “Laundry and Bourbon”] make us realize that beneath the rambling personal reminiscences, chit-chat and even their spirited commentary on the game show contestants they’re watching on Elizabeth’s television, fundamental life issues … are on the line.”

In “The Author’s Voice,” a pretty editor, Portia,  accompanies her latest young writing protégé, Todd, back to his apartment to see the “author’s lair” and to toast their new creative partnership. Though she adores the handsome novelist and his cool, low-key manner, she wonders aloud at the emptiness of his conversation; he is boring except when he is quoting poetic passages from his work in progress. As the reasoning behind his vacuous behavior is revealed, the audience is presented with a complex and co-dependent relationship between the author and his unusual muse.

Mary-Ann Flood of SEE magazine describes “The Author’s Voice” as “a perfectly pleasant hour of theatre.”

Tickets are $7 at the door for general admission and free for Bethany College faculty, staff and students.