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Ambition turns violent in Death

Nov. 6, 1998

BY JENNIE BISSELL

Reporter

Jennie_Bissell_baylor.edu

When an employer dies and leaves his company position vacant, three employees strike out in a comical fight to the top. This sets the stage for the play The Death of Zukasky.

The play is being produced by the Baylor theater department and will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-14 and at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in Theatre 11 at Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

The plot of the play deals with the idea of competition. The head of the company, Zukasky, dies and leaves the position open to be filled by one of his employees. A.C, Ann and Barry all are competing for the spot. The workers develop an evil spirit and plot against each other. The comedy develops in the play by their drive for promotion.

'Everyone in the play is an individual,' Chrissy Huth, a Canon Lake junior, said. 'There is a lot of back-stabbing going on'

The play is a physical comedy. The characters are involved in on-stage fighting, wrestling and chair chasing.

'The play is very slapstick and is almost like the Marxs Brothers,' director Eric Shephard said.

Theatre 11 changes with each play. In this play the set juts out into the room and consists of two offices. The audience is placed on either side of the set. When the play begins, the audience can see only one of the offices. As the plot unfolds, the other office is revealed.

The costumes are very modern because the play takes place in today's society. They are business-like to represent the seriousness of the sales business.

'The play is realistic because the set and the situations are true to life and the rules of business are observed,' Shephard said. 'The drive for success becomes a life-or-death matter, and that is where the comedy comes into play.'

Actors prepare in different ways for the characters that they are going to play. The characters in Zukaski are complex salespeople, and many of the actors had to learn to act in ways different from what they are accustomed to.

'I observed many different people and their mannerisms to make the character of Barry more realistic,' Justin Jones, a Waco sophomore, said.

This will be Shepard's third full-length production as director.

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