The Department of Theatre is preparing to present a live production of the 1955 play Bus Stop.
Gary Varner, the director and professor emeritus, said the play is a great-feeling show.
“It’s an incredibly odd, corky love story between a cowboy and a singer,” said Varner. “Everyone in this show is searching for love. It’s like watching teenage kids trying to make it.”
Written by Midwest writer William Inge, Bus Stop was produced on Broadway as a comedy and nominated for a Tony Award in 1956.
“It’s a great acting vehicle and so well written,” Varner said. “The comedy is in making the characters real. That’s what we work on in classes – making the characters real. They’ve got to believe in what they’re doing.”
Nora Vellis, a senior musical theatre major from San Jose, said this will only be the second play she will act in since she started acting when she was 9 years old. Vellis will play the character of Grace Hoyland and is also in charge of makeup and hair.
“I am the owner of the diner and we are going to be cooking actual eggs and cooking hamburgers,” Vellis said. “We are trying to make it all look real; the audience will be so close we won’t be able to fake anything.”
Bus Stop is considered an ensemble performance. Varner said it is almost like the show Friends, in which each character is essential to the plot. Hayden Casey, a senior acting and directing major from Grapevine, said the student body can look forward to relating to some of the characters in the play, and the play is performed in a thrust setting.
“A ‘thrust setting’ is where you have the audience almost completely around the stage, which is a very unique way to present the show,” said Casey, who will play the part of Dr. Gerald Lyman and will be in charge of props.
The play will be live on April 7-9, and April 22-23 in the William Performing Art Center. Tickets are available online or by calling 325-684-2787.