Two students play 20 roles in C-SC’s production of Greater Tuna
Monday, September 21, 2009
CANTON, Mo. – Culver-Stockton College students Beau Becraft, junior communication major from Memphis, Mo., and Zach Martin, junior theatre major from Decatur, Ill., will star in the C-SC rendition of Greater Tuna, to be held October 8-11, in the Mabee Little Theatre on the C-SC campus.
Greater Tuna by Jaston Williams, Joes Sears, and Ed Howard is set in Tuna, Texas – “the third smallest town in the state.” Becraft and Martin will play 10 characters each, including men, women, and children of all ages, as well as animals in this comedy about small town culture and behavior. C-SC Professor of Theatre, S. Kent Miller will direct the off-Broadway hit.
Becraft will take on the roles of Thurston Wheelis, a disc jockey at radio station OKKK; Elmer Watkins, head of the local chapter of the KKK, who is dedicated to making the town safe "for the right kind of people"; Bertha Bumiller, wife of Hank and mother to Jody, Stanley, and Charlene; Yippy, pet of the month for five weeks in a row, who no one wants to adopt; Leonard Childers, station manager of radio station OKKK; Pearl Burras, aunt to Bertha, who is addicted to killing dogs; R.R. Snavely, UFOlogist, town drunk, and husband to Didi; Reverend Spikes, president of the Smut Snatchers of the New Order; Sheriff Givens, town sheriff who believes in old-fashioned jails; and Hank Bumiller, husband of Bertha.
“I have seen Greater Tuna performed a couple of times and always thought the show was well put together; and the fact that only two actors portrayed 20 different roles always boggled my mind. I thought it would be a fun challenge to tackle,” said Becraft. “I get to play two different women: Bertha Bumiller, a middle-aged housewife/mother to three children and an unfaithful husband, and Pearl Burras, an elderly woman who has a tendency to poison dogs and dance at funerals. Both of these roles are a lot of fun to play because you can really mock the stereotypes and play them up.”
Martin will play Arles Struvie, a disc jockey at radio station OKKK; Didi Snavely, owner of Didi's Used Weapons; Harold Dean Lattimer, OKKK's weatherman; Petey Fisk, employee of the Greater Tuna Humane Society; Jody Bumiller, youngest child of Bertha Bumiller; Standley Bumiller, twin to Charlene who is fresh from reform school; Charlene Bumiller, daughter of Hank and Bertha Bumiller and sister to Stanley and Jody; Chad Hartford, a reporter from Houston; Phinas Blye, a politician from Indiana who runs for City Council every election; and Vera Carp, town snob.
“I think it will definitely be challenging to play all those different parts. It involves a lot of changing, not just quick costume changes but also quick characterization changes, which can be more difficult than changing a costume. The parts I'm most excited to play are Petey Fisk, the overzealous humane society employee, and Vera Carp, the passive aggressively cruel town gossip,” said Martin.
C-SC students will also be behind the technical parts of this performance with Teri Terford, senior arts management major from Hamilton Ill., as assistant director and house manager; Sean Myers, senior arts management major from Hannibal, Mo., as stage manager; Brittany Hendrix, freshman arts management major from Davenport, Iowa, as assistant stage manager; Meghan Townley, freshman arts management major from Quincy, Ill., as assistant house manager; and Amanda Eisele, junior arts management major from Mexico, Mo., as box office manager.
Greater Tuna will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 8, through Saturday, October 10, and at 3 p.m., on Sunday, October 11. All performances will be in the Mabee Little Theatre, located in the Robert W. Brown Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for non-C-SC students. For more information about Fine Arts events or to reserve a ticket, call 573-288-6346 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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