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June 2007

Release Date: June 4, 2007

A ‘Triple Play’ for ASU Summer Dinner Theatre

The Angelo State University drama program will kick off the 2007-08 Arts at ASU season with a compilation of three works titled “Original One-Act Plays” for the first summer Dinner Theatre June 21-24 and 28-30 in the ASU Modular Theatre.

Show times will be at 8 p.m. June 21-23 and 28-30, with dinner served each night at 7 p.m. A matinee performance is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, June 24, with dinner served at 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for Arts at ASU subscribers and non-ASU students, and $12.50 for ASU students and ASU activity card holders.

“Destiny Leaves a Lot to the Human Genome Project” is a comedy written by Dr. Trey Smith, ASU assistant professor of mathematics. It is a quick, witty and humorous glimpse at the genetic options available during our formation. Given a particular human egg, who might be the resultant person when different spermatozoa are successful? Various versions of the main character, Terri, move into her college dorm room in this personal examination of gene selection.

“Trey gave us a clear-cut comedy with this play,” said Dr. Bill Doll, drama professor and the play’s director. “It also gives us some notion of what happens during conception in terms of our genetic make-up. It’s interesting and clearly a comedy.”

“One Last Chance,” by ASU alumnus Jackie Rosenfeld, explores human behavior and relationships. After five years of marriage, high school sweethearts Ray and Shannon discover the difficulties of creating a life together in the real world of rent, work and adult responsibilities. When Ray’s stress reliever becomes alcohol, Shannon is faced with a very difficult decision.

“Jackie’s play is a family drama,” Doll said. “The husband has a drinking problem and it’s really about the issues between that couple and how they will go about dealing with this personal problem that is impacting his work and their relationship.”

Smith’s “Mrs. The Elephant Man” is a more dramatic comedy. The story revolves around Cartwright Peterson and whether he is the unlucky object of his in-laws’ negative attitude or if his new wife’s image of him is completely distorted by her love. The play allows the audience to explore these two possibilities or, perhaps, create an altogether new reality by way of their imaginations.

“This play is comedic, but the characters are very realistic in their presentation, their action and their dialogue,” Doll said. “It’s about perception and how we perceive certain relationships, objects and life. It leaves the audience the choice to perceive the characters as one thing or another.”

These three works are the fruition of Doll’s notion to have two playwrights start with the same idea and write separate plays based on that idea. Each play also has its own cast and stage manager. The germinal idea for the plays is John Lennon’s quote, “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

“It’s very interesting to see what that one idea stimulated them to write,” Doll said. “In part, we’re dealing with an experiment with these summer plays and I’m glad they turned out to be very producible works. I think they will each end up playing even better than they read.”

Smith and Rosenfeld are both past favorites with San Angelo audiences. Smith’s “Uncommon Threads” and Rosenfeld’s “The Posthumous Life of Sylvia Platt et al” were both previously performed at ASU. Another of Smith’s works, “Between Any Two Points,” was published by Odessa-based Brooklyn Publishing. Rosenfeld’s “keepingabreast” enjoyed an off-off-Broadway run in November.

Doll is the director of the University Theatre and has directed more than 70 plays at the collegiate level. Before coming to ASU in 1999, he was a tenured professor at Rose State College and served as the chair of fine arts at Howard College. He has a Ph.D. in Fine Arts/Theatre from Texas Tech University and has served on several Texas Educational Theatre Association committees. Doll’s favorite acting role was as the Lion in “The Wiz,” for which the review said he portrayed “the most lovable and hilarious pussycat to ever tiptoe across a stage.”

Tickets for “Original One-Act Plays” are on sale now in the ASU box office. The box office is open from 2-6 p.m. weekdays in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building. For reservations, call 942-2000. Arts at ASU season subscriptions are also still available at the box office.

For more information on the production and cast, contact Doll with the ASU drama program at 942-2146, Ext. 246.