The Austin College Theatre Department will open its season with Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan September 28-30 at 7:30 p.m. in Ida Green Communication Center’s Beardsley Arena Theatre. General admission is $8 or free with the presentation of a valid Austin College ID. For more information, call 903.813.2281. Advisory: the play includes significant profanity.
A Talk Back with the cast will follow the September 28 performance; a performance by Austin College’s Improv Troupe will follow the September 29 production.
The play, directed by Dan Pucul, a 2004 graduate of Austin College and the Theatre Department’s full-time technical coordinator, is a dark comedy set in 1934 Ireland—specifically a tiny island in the Galway Bay called Inishmaan. The plot centers around Billy Claven, the town’s orphan boy who’s been deformed from birth and lives a quiet life with his two adopted aunts, Kate and Eileen, in their general store. That is, until one day when JohnnyPateenMike brings news that an American named Robert Flaherty will be directing a new film on the neighboring island of Inishmore. “The Cripple of Inishmaan is a play about what makes a place a home and what make people a family,” Pucul said.
The cast includes senior Emma Grundy of Wichita Falls, Texas, as Cripple Billy Claven, with senior Sarah Klawun of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and freshman Abby Goodman of Austin, Texas, playing aunts Eileen and Kate, respectively; sophomore Kyle Andrle of Allen, Texas, Bartley McCormick; junior Harri Drake of Whitesboro, Texas, Slippy Helen; senior Matthew Rapier of Plano, Texas, as JohnnyPateenMike; senior Christopher Cooper of Midland, Texas, BabbyBobby Bennett; sophomore Alexandra Baker-Livingston of Richardson, Texas, Mammy O’Dougal; and freshman Harper Jambor of Austin, Texas, Doctor McSharry.
The design team includes sophomore Anna Kat Forbus of Plano, Texas, costumes; senior Bailey Carrell of San Antonio, Texas, sound; freshman Nick Chaviers, projections; junior Aurora Hadzic of Lubbock, Texas, and senior Rebekah Urban of Whitesboro, Texas, “commanders of the Prop Army.” Liz Banks of the theatre faculty designed the lights, and Pucul designed the set.
In November, the department will present the melodrama The 39 Steps, based on the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock spy thriller. In the production that guarantees “lots of laughs,” four actors play 130 characters in the 100-minute production. Senior Jacob Dowell of Little Rock, Arkansas, will direct the production. In December, the directing class presents an evening of one-act plays to showcase student work.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.