A Dance with the "Roach"

A man and woman dancing
Characters Maggie, played by Lillie Cooper, and Roger, played by Josh Walters, share a dance in the diner in “Roach.” Written by Wayland alum Rita Cox, “Roach” will premiere Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box theatre.

PLAINVIEW – The School of Fine Arts at Wayland Baptist University will premiere an original play, “Roach,” by author Rita Cox this Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box theatre located in the Harral Fine Arts Center.

Tickets cost $8 and are available at this link. Click on the buy tickets now button.

Cox, a WBU alum who teaches theatre at Floydada High School, wrote “Roach” as part of the requirements for her Master of Arts in English degree. The theatre department has been "work-shopping" the play since last fall to help her put the finishing touches on the script.

M.E. Kirk, associate professor of theatre, is directing the production.

“We started working with it back in the fall semester, getting actors in, improvising, while (Rita) could watch,” Kirk said. “She would take some of her ideas and go back and rewrite the play. So, the play has grown accordingly.”

“Roach” centers on Maggie, a waitress who works in a diner. Facing a difficult life, Maggie is trying to save enough money to pay tuition to dance school. The play chronicles her journey through the bleak outlook to redemption.

“It’s her one dream in life,” Kirk said. “She’s not having a very happy life. It’s kind of miserable, and this is her chance to get away from it all.”

Maggie is also supporting her brother who suffers from an addiction to pain pills he acquired after an accident.

Lillie Cooper portrays Maggie. Other cast members include Josh Walters as Roger, Ian Kirk as Joe, the owner of the diner, Leti Cruz as Lilah and Rio Hernandez as Jack. The cast includes dancers and diner patrons portrayed by Jordan Sisson, Emma Jennings, Tammy Brooks, Elizabeth Johnson, Emmily Britt, Kaylea Britt, Tamara Lucero, Jullian Brown, Jared Orr, Angel Lorenzo and Edward Funderburke.

The premiere of “Roach” is part of an initiative to bring original works and new playwrights to the Wayland stage.