The Austin College theatre program will present Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story March 1 through 3 with performances at 7:30 p.m. each evening, plus a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, March 3, in Beardsley Arena Theatre of Ida Green Communication Center. Admission price is $8 or free with a valid Austin College ID. Tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information, call 903.813.2281.
The production is directed by senior Hilary Gregory-Allen of Sherman, daughter of Roger Gregory-Allen and Viki Reeder. A communications study major, Hilary is a member of Alpha Psi Omega national theater honor society and has been involved in many Austin College theatrical productions. She also is a member of the College’s Improv Troupe.
The Zoo Story has a cast of only two and at a glance, a simple plot of a conversation. In this production junior Mateo Ervin of Austin, Texas, plays the role of Peter and sophomore Cody Edwards of Eastland, Texas, plays Jerry.
Peter is a complacent executive comfortably reading in Central Park when Jerry, an aggressive loner who has just come from the Central Park Zoo, badgers him into conversation. The story continues, dealing with issues of human isolation, loneliness, class differences, and the dangers of inaction within American society.
An excerpt of the conversation offers a glimpse into the themes of the play. “It’s just that if you can’t deal with people, you have to make a start somewhere. WITH ANIMALS! Don’t you see? A person has to have some way of dealing with SOMETHING! With a bed, with a cockroach, with a mirror … no, that’s too hard, that’s one of the last steps … with love, with vomiting, with crying, with fury … with making money with your body which is an act of love and I could prove it, with howling because you’re alive … with God who, I’m told, turned his back on the whole things some time ago … with … someday … with people. People.”
Stage manager Lizzy Lincoln of Round Rock, Texas, said Albee’s work provides an unflinching look at human existence, interaction, and what it means to truly make contact. “This production,” she said, “seeks to examine all Albee’s questions, without giving a reductive answer to any of them.” Lizzy is a sophomore completing majors in theatre and English.
Production staff for the production include senior Elizabeth Oltman of Sherman, Texas, light designer; junior Mary Caroline Ingram of Southlake, Texas, set designer; sophomore Missy Lyttle of Austin, Texas, costume designer; junior Jessica Shanks of Cedar Park, Texas, sound designer; sophomore Dave Burford of Richardson, Texas, fight choreographer; senior Anneliese Carter of Arlington, Texas, house manager; freshman Sarah Wilhelm of Arlington, Texas, light board operator; and sophomore Maddy Fouga of Fort Worth, Texas, sound board operator.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives.