Austin College senior theatre major Chloe Schnaible of Allen, Texas, says she chose to direct Exit Laughing because it’s a heartwarming and funny story about the universal experience of death and mourning.
The play by Paul Elliott tells the story of a group of Southern ladies who have shared a weekly card game for 30 years, only now, one of them has died. In the wake of their grief, the three left behind “borrow” the ashes of their departed friend for one last game, and the fun begins.
The show runs from November 20 through 22, 7:30 p.m. in Ida Green Communication Center’s Beardsley Arena Theatre. Tickets are free with an Austin College I.D. and $8 for all others; seating is limited. Some adult language and partial male nudity occur.
The cast members, all members of the theatre honor society Alpha Psi Omega, follow:
Abbey Goodman ’21 of Austin, Texas;
Olivia Trusty ’22 of Fort Worth, Texas;
Zoe Crews ’22 of River Oaks, Texas;
Chloe Bachofen ’22 of Waco, Texas;Kyle Andrle ’20 of Allen, Texas.
Liz Banks of the theatre faculty is lighting director, and Dan Pucul of the Ida Green Center staff is technical director. Guest Vanessa Baker is assisting with costumes. Production staff members in addition to director Chloe Schnaible follow:
Kat Forbus ’20 from Plano, Texas, Stage Manager;
Sawyer Ahmad ’23 of Hurst, Texas, Assistant Stage Manager;
Scout McComack Morris ’22 of Fredricksburg, Texas, Assistant Stage Manager;
Xan Baker-Livingston ’20 of Richardson, Texas, Costume Designer;
Sonia Charales ’22 of Sunnyville, Texas, Costumes;
Allie Straeck ’22 of Allen, Texas, Costumes;
Gracie Martinez ’21 of Houston, Texas, Sound Designer;
Grant Garrison ’22 of Fort Worth, Texas, Sound Board Operator;
Hannah Barry ’20 of Dallas, Texas, Props Manager and House Manager;
Dakota Eggert ’21 of Fort Worth, Texas, Props;
Kiersten Esposito ’23 of Lucas, Texas, Props;
Michael Megenhardt ’20 of Houston, Texas, Props;
Larry Ramirez-Quintana ’23 of Pharr, Texas, Props;
Abbi Rees ’19 of Dallas, Texas, Props;
Nick Chaivers ’21 of Houston, Texas, Slideshow and Photographer;
Will Bridgwater ’22 of Hamilton, Texas, Lighting Crew;
Christian Ghermay ’23 of Plano, Texas, Lighting Crew;
Harrison Vickmark ’22 of McAllen, Texas, Lighting Crew; and
Micah Weber ’22 of Fort Worth, Texas, Lighting Crew.
“The big challenges of this play are the time crunch for rehearsal and with a small cast, the actors never really leave the stage,” Schnaible said. “They have a lot of lines to know.” The show was cast early in the school year, and rehearsal began after the close of Seeking Grace, a student-written and directed musical that premiered at Homecoming in October.
Schnaible not only directs Exit Laughing but has also designed the set for the contemporary story. Along with theatre, she is a physics major. She says she is a technical theatre person and not an actor, so the combination of physics and theatre prepares her well for lighting design. She hopes to use her diverse education to one day be a curator and designer for a science museum.
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 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin 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.