Theatre Production Opens Sept. 21

The Theatre Department comedy “The Wake of Jamey Foster” opens Sept. 21 and runs through Sept. 24 in the James G. Severns Theatre in Ophelia Parrish. 

Tickets are $5 and available in advance at the box office in the atrium of Ophelia Parrish. Tickets are also available for purchase the nights of the performances. The production will begin at 8 p.m. and is suitable for adults and children over the age of 13.

“The Wake of Jamey Foster,” written by Beth Henley, takes place in a small town in Mississippi. Jamey Foster, a failed poet and would-be historian, was kicked in the head by a cow and died while consorting with his mistress in a pasture. Mourners have gathered for his wake, including: Jamey’s estranged wife; her sister and brother and the brother’s girlfriend; Jamey’s upwardly mobile brother and his oppressively doting wife; and an eccentric family friend who raises pigs. All gathered for the wake seem to agree on one point—none of them really liked the deceased very much. But on most other matters they are far apart, and as old enmities flare up, the play explodes with bizarre humor and zany revelations. In the end, a tenuous truce is reached as those assembled prepare to depart for the final rites—but it is abundantly clear that the lives on which Jamey had a baleful effect in his lifetime may well be changed for the better by his untimely demise.

Directed by award-winning professor Ron Rybkowski, “The Wake of Jamey Foster” features some returning faces to the Severns’ stage, while also providing a debut to some promising actors. Julie Amuedo and Catherine McMahan return as Collard Darnell and Katty Foster after performances in “Hamlet.” Graduate student Shanon Barton makes her debut as Marshael Foster on the main stage after success in several one-act productions and a stint at directing last spring in “The Bird on Nellie’s Hat.”  Nicholas Huber debuts on the Severns’ stage as Leon Darnell after playing Vladimir in “Waiting for Godot.” Similarly, Grant Jennings and Francis Kemper, as Wayne Foster and Brocker Slade, are appearing on the main stage following success in one acts and lab show productions. Freshman Becca Leslie makes her introduction to Truman theatre as Pixrose Wilson.

More information about “The Wake of Jamey Foster,” as well as future Theatre Department productions and other events happening in the School of Arts and Letters, can be found on the School of Arts and Letter’s Facebook page and the Theatre Department’s Facebook page.