William Woods University will present a funny and poignant play about four mentally handicapped men living in a group home as its third theatrical performance of the season.
The men, under the supervision of a “burned out” social worker, struggle to overcome their fears about themselves and the world around them and find meaning and purpose for their lives.
Performances of “The Boys Next Door” by Tom Griffin are Feb. 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m., with a matinee on Feb. 22 at 2:30 p.m., in Dulany Auditorium.
According to Dramatist’s Play Service, Inc., the setting is a communal residence in a New England city, where four mentally handicapped men live under the supervision of an earnest, but increasingly “burned out” young social worker named Jack (played by Ryan Paul, a junior from Olathe, Kan.).
Norman (played by Walter J. Paschal, a WWU graduate and drama teacher at North Callaway High School), works in a doughnut shop and is unable to resist the lure of the sweet pastries; he takes great pride in the huge bundle of keys that dangles from his waist.
Lucien P. Smith (played by Buddy Staats, a junior from Hermann, Mo.) has the mind of a 5-year-old, but imagines that he is able to read and comprehend the weighty books that he lugs about.
Arnold (played by Hunter Nesbitt, a freshman from Jenks, Okla.) is the ringleader of the group. He is a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer, who suffers from deep-seated insecurities and a persecution complex.
Barry (played by Jared Krichevsky, a senior from Culver City, Calif.) is a brilliant schizophrenic who is devastated by the unfeeling rejection of his brutal father (played by Mike Wilson, a dentist at Fulton State Hospital). Barry fantasizes that he is a golf pro.
Jason Flauaus, a senior from St. Charles, Mo., will play the roles of Mr. Hedges, Mr. Corbin and Senator Clarke. Meghan Parks, a sophomore from Quincy, Ill., will play Mrs. Fremus, Mrs. Warren and Clara. Lindsey Mertes, a senior from Branson, Mo., will be Sheila.
“The Boys Next Door” will be directed by Kathy Potter, with scenic design by Joe Potter and costume design by Jane Friedman.
Tickets for “The Boys Next Door” go on sale Feb. 9. Prices are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children 3-12. Children under the age of 3 will not be admitted. This is production contains adult language and situations and is not recommended for children.
For tickets, call the box office at (573) 592-4267. For more information, call Joe Potter, artistic director of theatre, at (573) 592-4281.