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Combat Theatre, Get Hit, Good Egg and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale stretch theatrical muscles; includes 24-hour create-a-play challenge, original works and a classic

by Ally Van Deuren (B.F.A. Theatre, B.A. Journalism, ’15)

Don’t miss these upcoming SMUST shows in Owen Arts Center’s basement. SMUST (SMU Student Theatre) is a student-run organization at SMU where students are encouraged to present their original work and explore the realm of theatre. Regardless of major, any SMU student can perform in SMUST shows.

What: Six plays put together in 24 hours
When: Saturday, February 22 at 10 p.m.
Where: B450 in the basement of Owen Arts Center
Free admission

One of the theatre department’s favorite traditions, Combat Theatre, returns this weekend in the basement of Meadows. SMUST (SMU Student Theatre) produces one Combat Theatre per semester.

Combat Theatre is a 24-hour play festival that will take place in B450 in the basement of Meadows School of the Arts. Audiences will be treated to six short plays performed by members of the Meadows Division of Theatre. Writers meet in the green room on Friday night at 10 p.m. and are given writing topics. By 10 a.m. the following morning, their scripts are handed to the directors and actors who have until 10 p.m. that evening to turn the words into a short play.

What: An original play by a theatre student
When: Saturday, February 22 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, February 23 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Where: B450 in the basement of Owen Arts Center
Free admission

To make a little extra cash, you gotta get hit!”

The world premiere of Get Hit, an original play by Dylan Guerra (B.F.A. Theatre, ’16) opens in Meadows this weekend featuring the work of six SMU theatre students.

While he has been interested in playwriting for several years, Get Hit is Guerra’s first full-length play; he also directs his play.

This show features the work of the following students: Leslie Ballart (theatre, ’17), George Colligan (theatre, ’16), Nina Dramer (theatre, ’14), Blake Murray (theatre, ’15), Kelsey Smith (theatre, ’14) and Matthew Talton (theatre, ’16).

What: A play about bioethics, siblings and unconditional love
When: February 21-24 at 8 p.m.
Where: B430 in the basement of Owen Arts Center
Free admission

SMU junior theatre students present Good Egg by Dorothy Fortenberry this weekend in Meadows.

The play begins inside Meg’s womb,” “This is my womb,” she says, beginning the play. “Welcome, really.” The time is the present day and the place is Washington, DC.

The story follows the always-responsible Meg and her bipolar younger brother Matt. Meg has always taken good care of Matt, but when she gets pregnant and has her embryos screened for bipolar disorder, has she taken the idea of being “responsible” too far?

A play about bioethics, siblings and the limits of unconditional love, this comical yet surprising play is certainly no typical family drama.

Playwright Dorothy Fortenberry is a Los Angeles-based playwright who received her M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama. The Red Fern Theatre Company produced the world premiere of the play in New York City in 2010.

Directed by Jenna Hannum (theatre, ’15) the production features the work of SMU theatre students Andrea Flowers (theatre, ’15) and Ryan-Patrick McLaughlin (theatre, ’15).

EON Poster

What: The rarest of theatrical birds
When: March 1, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and March 2, 2014 at 9:00 p.m.
Where: B349, the Kathy Bates Studio in the basement of Owen Arts Center
Free admission

Eccentric, by definition, means deviating from the recognized or customary character; irregular; erratic; peculiar; odd. Eccentric is the very opposite of co-centric, which essentially is “the norm.”

Tennessee Williams’ The Eccentricities of a Nightingale opens on the Fourth of July just before the First World War in Glorious Hill, Mississippi.

“Sometimes the only tree you want to bark up is the wrong one,” says Alma Winemiller, the musically talented, lonely, sensitive and free spirited “eccentric” and daughter of Reverend Winemiller.

Miss Alma finds herself so ill-matched with the world around her that she cannot find an outlet that will allow her to grow or breathe. She becomes increasingly fearful that she will remain a spinster forever, and her small town family’s restrictions become hard to bear.

But an opportunity arises when she rekindles a friendship with the young Dr. John Buchanan Jr. after his return from medical school. She believes he is the answer to her unhappiness, but John’s mother is only interested in a socially advantageous match for her son and frowns upon a potential relationship between John and Alma. Will Alma have her happily-ever-after?

A rewrite of Williams’ Summer and Smoke, the play is often called “a neglected masterpiece” by theatre critics and historians alike.

Directed by Mei Mei Pollitt (theatre, ’15), the cast features Madeline Dockery-Fuhrmann (theatre, ’15) as Alma Winemiller, Jon Garrard (theatre, ’15) as John Buchanan, Dylan Guerra (theatre, ’16) as the Reverend Winemiller, Ally Van Deuren (theatre, ’15) as Mrs. Buchanan, and Ariana Howell (theatre, ’15) as Mrs. Winemiller. Haley Nelson (theatre, ’17), Marcus Pinon (theatre, ’17), Michael Riso (theatre, ’17) and Joanna Coogan (theatre, ’17) round out the cast as the “eccentrics.”

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