NSU Drama presents “Wonderful World”

Meagan Todd, McAlester junior. and Jamie Ruiz, Kansas junior, look at records to use in play as props. Wonderful World takes an examining look at family dynamics and various family issues.

NSU Drama is presenting “Wonderful World,” written by Richard Dresser and directed by Christopher Miller, associate professor of drama. The play is a satirical look that tackles themes of sibling rivalry, dysfunctional families and relationships.

“I have been wanting to do this show since I have been at NSU”, said Miler. “The show has strong roles for actors in their twenties and it fits perfectly for our college audience.”

The show follows a family that is turned upside down when a small misunderstanding happens and everything goes downhill. When Patty, the wife of one of the brothers, misunderstands a family dinner invitation and feels excluded, truths begin being told and forces the family to confront their issues.

“My character Jennifer is like a hummingbird,” said Malory Lynch, Heavener senior. “Very nervous and flighty but will stand her ground like a lion if she absolutely must. She gets ignored, blends in with the furniture, and is often referred to as poor Jennifer. She has been amazing to play so far and I am growing as an actor because of her.”

Miller experimented with the set and costumes for the show last spring semester during his Design for the Theater course. He used the play as the class assignment where students designed the costume and set for scenes of the play. He took into account some of the decisions of the work from the course and used his knowledge to make the design of the show feel unique.

“A challenge I ran into with this play is that I did not want a 20-year-old playing an older character, especially if the rest of the cast is played by twenty-year old’s,” said Miller. “When I started working on this play, I began thinking about who could play the role of Lydia, so it is not for a student to play but for someone in that age range. I asked Donna Agee because she has jumped in for us in the past and when she read the script she agreed.”

According to Miller, there is an arch of change throughout the show. Through costuming, Miller will show the transitions the characters go through the show. He uses costumes to portray the character’s emotional turmoil and then seeing how they dress at the beginning of the show compared to the ending is the arch of change he is hoping to portray through it.

“The show is very funny and the actors are working very hard to bring this production to life,” said Meagan Todd, McAlester junior. “Students should attend the show to fully experience our work and to enjoy the performance.”

Todd is the stage manager for the production, meaning she is responsible for providing support as well as other things for the show. She took the position because she wanted the experience of being in that role. 

“In experiencing a play and going to see it there is an electricity of going to see a live performance that engages that aspect of empathy in the audience to go on this journey that is right in front of them,” said Miller. “We can experience a film and we can engage and empathize in a particular way, but there is a distance there. In the play, we have that immediacy so I think the intensity of the empathy can be greater. It’s very healthy for audiences to attend live plays.”

Students should attend school events like this because it is something they cannot get from watching a movie or TV. According to Miller, the reason that students should come to the live shows is that it forces the person to pay attention and engage because it is live, so there is no pausing or rewinding.

“My experience at NSU Drama has been amazing,” said Lynch. “The professors are fantastic and I learn something every day that I know will help me get a job. NSU Drama has been wonderful for my confidence and overall ability to work with others. ‘Wonderful World’ is my last show here and I couldn’t be happier with the material, my acting partners, director, and technical team.”

“Wonderful World” opens at 7:30 p.m. on April 8 – 11, at the NSU Playhouse. For more information email Miller at miller34@nsuok.edu.

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