LINDSBORG, Kan., April 30, 2012—Bethany College Theatre presents “Theatre on a Shoestring,” a series of student-directed plays on May 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Burnett Center. The plays “Words, Words, Words,” “The Sandbox,” and “The Diary of Adam and Eve” will be performed on May 4 and “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Lace” on May 5.
The “infinite monkey theory” posits that if you give monkeys both typewriters and lots of time, they’ll eventually write things that make sense. In “Words, Words, Words,” playwright David Ives gives it a try. Three monkeys, three typewriters, and let’s shoot for Hamlet! What could go wrong? Plenty, as answered in this play directed by Matt Allen, Wichita, Kan., starring Jenna Sickenius, Longmont, Colo; Misha Zhilin, Rostov-on-Don, Russia; and Jordan Schwartz, Salina, Kan.
Edward Albee’s “The Sandbox,” a brief coda to his earlier play, “The American Dream,” reflects an existential and expressionistic narrative of human nature. Set at the beach, the action revolves around Mommy and Daddy, who have brought Grandma out for a day at the beach; however, their agenda doesn’t exactly include fun in the sun, for they have brought Grandma here only to put her in the sand and wait while she lives out her final moments. Assisting in this unorthodox send-off are a musician and a young man (a budding actor…and maybe more). Employing elements of absurdist theatre, Albee’s play addresses, among other things, the gradual disconnect between generations throughout life and unto death. The family is, in essence, devoid of love, leaving Grandma to turn to the only compassionate companion left to her at life’s end. The play is directed by Sarah Doering, Ape, N.C., and stars Carly Murray, Crescent, Okla.; Sickenius; Zhilin; Schwartz; and Sarah Garlock, Thornton, Colo.
The “Diary of Adam and Eve,” an original play by Samuel Birnkrant that is drawn from Mark Twain’s “Diaries of Adam and Eve,” is a delightfully humorous take on the ups and downs of the very first couple as they get to know both each other and the paradise they call home. Life is anything but dull in the Garden as the two of them discover, among other things, fire, reflections, and fear; encounter an “enigma” (or two); and even come to realize how delicious apples really are! In the end, their greatest discovery may be the love they feel for each other. Brandi Patrick, Aurora, Colo. directs the cast, including Jed Duarte, Pueblo, Colo., and Katie Mannebach, Oakley, Kan.
We are all familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood. However, playwright Billy Aronson approaches this old classic from in a very unique way that he describes as “the classic fairytale, thoroughly bastardized.” Ever wonder if Little Red wanted to be eaten and might, perhaps, enjoy the Wolf? Why did Red’s Mother send her to her Grandmother’s house in the first place? Speaking of Grandmother, just how sane was she? And what is the story behind the Hunter? These are all questions that are explored and answered in Billy Aronson’s hilarious version of Little Red Riding Hood, directed by Chelsea Kenyon, Iola, Kan., and starring Gwen Woerpel, Nickerson, Kan.; Ashley Glover, Emporia, Kan.; Phoenix Hutchinson, Atchison, Kan.; Duarte, and Zach Dovenbarger, Kersey, Colo.
Elizabeth Ford, Effingham, Kan., directs “Lace,” written by Sarah Doering, Apex, N.C., and starring Cameron Foss, Gill, Colo., and Dayna Mannebach, Oakley, Kan. A young man suddenly finds himself in a strange room facing three fundamental but extremely daunting questions: where am I? how did I get here? and, most of all, who am I? All he has to go on in his search for answers is what he finds in the room: a desk, an odd assortment of chairs, a single door—and Lillian, the room’s sole inhabitant. Now, these two strangers must work together to discover where and who they are … and what lies beyond the room’s only door.
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu/.