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Casts announced for student-directed plays

Released: 11/08/2004

LSU Alexandria’s student directors have finalized their casting of four one-act plays for the “Directors’ Showcase” of new talent scheduled for Nov. 18-21.

The directors and their shows are: Tricia Lopez of Cottonport, “Final Placement” by Ara Watson; Mary Falterman of Alexandria, “Teeth” by Tina Howe; Belle Rollins of Pineville, “Overtones” by Alice Gerstenberg; and Cassandra Mealer of Alexandria, “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell.

“Our four directors have selected some very interesting scripts and assembled casts of very skillful actors, so we are expecting all this new talent and new energy to generate some exciting theater,” according to Dr. Jim Stacy, Director of Theatre, who is supervising the evening.

Leading the evening will be “Final Placement,” an intense drama which director Tricia Lopez summarizes this way: “Luellen (played by Shannon Liotta of Woodworth) is determined to get her son back after losing him to foster care for suspected abuse. Ms. Hanson (Brandi Rabalais of Simmesport), the social worker assigned to the case, is determined to make sure that never happens.” Social workers and students planning to pursue this line of work should find this play very relevant.

Next comes the comic bonbon, “Teeth,” a short piece about a dentist (Philemon Chapman of Bayou Chicot) and his patient (Laci Lopez of Pineville). “This dentist goes to pieces when a simple tooth filing goes awry, and we see his patient’s elevator doesn’t reach the top floor either. Both recover from their crazy antics to return to reality as if nothing had ever happened,” said director Mary Falterman. Robert Blackman of Alexandria rounds out the cast as a radio announcer.

Director Belle Rollins describes “Overtones,” as the story of the reunion between “two women who love the same man. Over the tea table they tell social lies while other characters representing their inner selves unfold the truth and hostility beneath. Inner conflicts over love and money surface as the tea party grows sweeter and more manipulative.” Her cast includes LSU Alexandria librarian Esther Blood of Lone Pine as Harriet, Jessica Barnes of Alexandria as Harriet’s inner self Hetty, Kim Patton of Pineville as Margaret, and LSU Alexandria Speech/Theatre professor Rhonda Shook of Alexandria as Margaret’s inner self Maggie.

The cast for “Trifles” includes Kendall From as Lewis Hale, Philemon Chapman as Sheriff Henry Peters, Robert Blackman as County Attorney George Henderson, and Jessica Barnes as Mrs. Hale. Director Cassandra Mealer says that her play concerns a murder investigation in which two women neighbors become sleuths who discover a crucial piece of evidence that might clear the accused widow of the deceased. Both “Trifles” and “Overtones” are often included in anthologies representing early 20th-century women authors.

Coming off a final sold-out weekend of the previous Empty Space Players production, “Ghosts,” Stacy is quick to remind theatergoers: “The Showcase will be for one weekend only, so make your reservations now at 473-6467 or 473-6581.”

Performance times and dates are as follows: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18; Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20. Matinees will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21. All shows will be staged in Room 205 of the physical education building/Fitness Center on the LSUA campus.

Tickets are $3 for LSUA students, $8 for the general public, and $5 for LSUA faculty/staff, seniors, and students from other schools.