“As serious as a fart in a spacesuit…”

Running Oct. 16-19 at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Hunt Annex black box theater, “The Dead Guy” is at last poised to entertain the students and faculty of UWA.

As inadequately illustrated in the cherry-picked line above, “The Dead Guy” is a dark comedy that is as funny as it is grave. Directed by Department of Fine Arts Chair Arthur Grothe, the two-act play was written by Eric Coble, who now lives in Grothe’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The synopsis is an ear-turner:

“Gina, a TV producer, creates a reality show in which Eldon, a small-town, down-on-his-luck kind of guy, is picked to spend $1 million in one week,” Assistant Director Virginia Gremmels, senior, told muse, “but, as with all the reality TV shows we’re littered with, there is a twist: at the end of the week, Eldon must die, and the method of his death is determined by audience polling.”

Grothe cast an energetic group of students in the roles of the play’s characters. The stars of the show are freshmen Andrew McElroy and Sonya McNair, who play Eldon and Gina. Eight additional actors and actresses lend their talents to their respective roles, which include a camera man played by Semaj King, an overbearing mother played by Chelsea Harcrow, and a pair of prostitutes played by…we’re not telling.

When you’re settled into your seat, don’t forget to appreciate all those who’ve contributed to the illusion from behind the scenes. As UWA’s new Technical Director, Erin Hisey composes everything from sets to lights to sound, and lecturer Audrey Hamilton returns as Costume Designer extraordinaire. Both are assisted by a whole roster of student participants, most notably Robyn Allen, who is having her first go at Stage Manager.

“…Although you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s her first time,” Gremmels offered.

The show is open not only to students and faculty, but to their families and anyone else who wishes to attend, although a $10 admission is charged for those without a campus I.D. So bring your friends and loved ones, but make sure to get there early; the doors open at seven, and the seats have been known to fill very quickly.

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