The Theatre Misfits, a student organization at Central Lakes College, will present two one-act plays Jan. 16-18.
"Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You" and "The Actor's Nightmare" are produced, directed and presented by CLC students.
Christopher Durang, whom the New York Times said "has comic cookies up his sleeve, repeatedly dropping a nonsensical non sequitur in for a laugh," wrote both plays. Durang also has written other popular theatrical works, such as "Betty's Summer Vacation," "Naomi in the Living Room" and "Baby with the Bathwater."
If you go
Who: The Theatre Misfits at CLC
What: One-act plays, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You" and "The Actor's Nightmare"
Where: Dryden Theatre, CLC, Brainerd
When: 3 p.m. Jan. 16, 7 p.m. Jan. 17 and 18
Cost: $3, free for CLC students
Performers for the two productions at CLC are Brianna Keran of Baxter, Lydia Hawley of Emily, Jesse Horman of Nisswa, Ross Derheimer of Pequot Lakes, Douglas Larson of Red Wing and Grant Villella of Crosslake.
"Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You" features a teaching nun who is much concerned with sin in all of its various forms. She delivers a cautionary lecture to her charges. One of them, a precocious little boy named Thomas, can quote the Ten Commandments on cue, and each time he does so Sister Mary rewards him with a cookie.
When several former students turn up, the picture darkens, along with Sister Mary's indignation. One is a happy mother of an illegitimate child; another a contented homosexual; still another has had two abortions -- the first after having been raped on the night of her mother's death; while another student, now an alcoholic, contemplates suicide.
Their stories are disturbing and also funny. It is quickly apparent they all have in common a loathing for Sister Mary and the unyielding dogma, which she forced on them in their formative years. In the end, mayhem and bloodshed are wrapped around the laughter and some devastating truths.
"The Actor's Nightmare" concerns George, who has casually wandered onstage. He is informed that one of the actors, Eddie, has been in an auto accident and George must replace him immediately. Apparently no one is sure of what play is being performed. But George (costumed as Hamlet) seems to find himself in the middle of a scene from "Private Lives," surrounded by such luminaries as Sarah Siddons, Dame Ellen Terry and Henry Irving.
In the closing moments of the play he rises to the occasion and finally says the right lines but faces a disconcerting reality.
Performances will be 3 p.m. Jan. 16 and 7 p.m. Jan. 17 and 18 in the Dryden Theater at CLC.
Admission is $3, with CLC students admitted free. A free-will donation will be taken for the Theatre Misfits trip to the American Theatre Conference.
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