Theatre group to perform night of comedy 

January 12, 2011

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University theatre honor society Alpha Psi Omega will present a special evening of comedy with benefit to a local food pantry and area young people.

“Classics Abridged” will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14, in the Harral Studio Theatre, open to the public. Admission is two canned food items per person to benefit Faith in Sharing House, which provides food boxes for needy families locally.

According to APO Vice President Sarah Buckland, the production is a very family-friendly event that was penned by society members, with senior theatre major Amanda Allen of Merkel writing the lion’s share.

“We basically took major works of literature through history and parodied or shortened them dramatically into funny segments,” explained Buckland, a senior theatre major from Weatherford. “We came up with the idea in the fall and Amanda started the script, then we all just helped work on it. We handed out the scripts in November and have been memorizing lines over the break.”

The end result will be a 75 minute production that Buckland said will have audience members of all ages laughing. The humor will appeal to children and teens as well as adults.

Buckland said the production includes a segment in which Star Wars and Phantom of the Opera are meshed, a segment on what really happened with the Disney villainesses; a parody on Around the World in 80 Days; a monster mash with pieces from classics like Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Wolfman; and some collected works of Shakespeare condensed. A musical number at the end is a spoof on the Harry Potter series and features theatre director Dr. Marti Runnels as Dumbledore.

But besides that cameo, Runnels has been fairly hands-off for this production of the honor society group and assistance from a few theatre and music friends. Alpha Psi Omega has about 13 members from theatre majors and minors, and the group has tackled this project on their own.

“This has really been student-led, directed and designed,” Buckland said. “This I one of those shows we enjoy because we just get to be goofy on the stage. It’s just good clean fun for all ages.”

Buckland said the group has done some community service efforts for several years but their usually busy schedule of rehearsals, memorizing lines and class work doesn’t allow for much wiggle room. By squeezing the benefit production in around the holidays and before the spring term at Wayland gets too far underway, they are able to do a show that has a deeper purpose.

“We wanted to do something to give back to the community, and we have a way to do things that not all disciplines do because we have this stage. As Christians, we need to be showing love, and we wanted to give folks something to laugh at as well,” she said.

Besides the public show on Friday, a private Saturday matinee will be presented for children from Lubbock Children’s Home, Lutheran Children’s Services of Lubbock, Wayland’s Apostolos mentoring group and Buckner Children’s Home in Lubbock. After the theatre production, performers plan to hang out with the young attendees and play games, do improv and just visit with them.

Jake Miser, a senior theatre major from Clarendon, serves as the APO president, and Katie Hon of Abernathy is secretary.