Baylor Theatre to Present 'The Shape of Things'

March 8, 2007

by Katie Brooks, student newswriter, (254) 710-1961

Baylor Theatre will debut Neil LaBute's contemporary drama, "The Shape of Things," at 7:30 p.m. March 21-24 and 2 p.m. March 25 and April 1 in Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center Theatre 11.

LaBute is a "talented playwright known for his intense dialogue, believable characters and edgy dramatic situations," according to Dr. Stan Denman, director of the production and chair of the department of theatre arts. According to the New Yorker, LaBute is "the best new playwright to emerge in the past decade."

"The Shape of Things" chronicles the relationship between unassuming Adam and Evelyn, a graduate art student, while raising questions about love, sex and the nature of art.

"If audience members like raw, edgy and dramatic material, they will love 'The Shape of Things.' The plot and characters are dramatic and compelling. Audience members will not be bored," Denman said.

Denman acknowledges the very intense and mature subject matter the play presents and recommends the show for adult audiences only. "It is not a show for children or for those who are not ready and willing to struggle with deep and complex issues," he said.

Each performance will hold a post-show discussion with the director, cast and dramaturge. "'The Shape of Things' really prompts discussion, and we want to give the audience an outlet for that," he said.

"I have greatly simplified the set and put the production in the round (audience on all four sides) to increase the intimacy of the play. The focus should be on the actors and the dialogue in this play, not the set," Denman said.

Denman has directed more than 20 productions since 1988. He received his bachelor of arts degree in theatre from Abilene Christian University and his master of arts degree from Baylor. He earned his doctorate of philosophy degree in theatre and performing arts from the University of Pittsburgh.

He saw the original production of "The Shape of Things" in London six years ago. "It haunted me for days afterward. I knew then that it was a play I would some day want to direct," he said.

Jeff Wisnoski and Cassie Bann-Kelty will star as Adam and Evelyn. Cast members also include Lindsey Christian as Jenny and Jared Eaton as Phillip.

"I have loved working with these young actors. They have been a blessing and joy," Denman said.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students with a Baylor ID. Tickets are available at the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center box office and online.

For more information, contact the box office at (254) 710-1865 or visit the Baylor Theatre website, www.baylor.edu/theatre.

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