Baylor Theatre Begins Summer Series with ‘Grand Concourse’

June 14, 2017

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (June 14, 2017) – A troubled teenager, a nun struggling with her faith, a charming maintenance worker and a homeless man named Frog make up the cast of characters in Baylor University Theatre’s latest production, “Grand Concourse”.

Written by Heidi Schreck and set in the modern-day Bronx neighborhood of Grand Concourse, the play wrestles with issues of acceptance, forgiveness and morality.

Director Cooper Sivara, a candidate for an M.F.A. in directing, selected “Grand Concourse” to kick off Baylor Theatre’s summer series because the characters were imperfect and true to life.

“This show asks a lot of questions, and it does not give any easy answers. There aren’t any good guys or bad guys, and I don’t think life works that way either," Sivara said.

Sivara said that the show’s realism presented plenty of challenges, but the small cast size allowed the group to work through them together.

Jessica Bean, a junior in Baylor’s theatre arts department, agreed that having a cast of only four actors helped the group grow close. Bean portrays Shelley, a nun who runs the soup kitchen where the action takes place.

“Shelley is not like most nuns. She doesn’t wear a habit and she’s younger, maybe early 30s,” Bean said. “After working in the soup kitchen for so long and seeing how these people just keep coming and some of them don’t get better, she gets a little discouraged. She’s trying really hard to keep her faith.”

In the midst of her identity crisis, a young woman named Emma joins the soup kitchen as a volunteer. The newcomer has rainbow-colored hair, struggles with depression, and has recently been kicked out of college.

“She is a person who needs extra attention, understanding and affection,” said Baylor senior Morgan Maxey, who plays Emma. “She doesn’t get that at home, and so she finds it at this soup kitchen. She’s trying to make a new name and a new story for herself.”

Shelley finds renewed purpose in her life through Emma and becomes a maternal figure to her, until the characters make a startling discovery.

“Grand Concourse” will take place in Theatre 11 in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center, located at 60 Baylor Ave. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with one matinee show at 2 p.m. on Sunday. For information about purchasing tickets, visit Baylor theatre’s website or call the box office at (254) 710-1865.

by Kassidy Woytek , student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT BAYLOR COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences.

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