FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University Theatre will present Tom Griffin’s “The Boys Next Door,” Feb. 20-23.
The performances will begin at 8 p.m. in the Hyman Fine Arts Center’s theatre on the university campus. Tickets for all performances are free and can be reserved by calling the box office at 843-661-1365 between 1 and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The play is directed by D. Keith Best, with scenic and lighting design by David Granath and costume design by Amy Sherwood. All three are theatre professors at FMU.
The play takes place in 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 (David Sistare). Norman (Brad Sponic), who works in a doughnut shop and is unable to resist the lure of the sweet pastries, takes great pride in the huge bundle of keys which dangles from his waist; Lucien P. Smith (Corey Patterson) has the mind of a five-year-old, but imagines that he is able to read and comprehend the weighty books he lugs about; Arnold (Christopher Blackwell), the ringleader of the group, is a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer who suffers from deep-seated insecurities and a persecution complex; while Barry (Jason Abernathy), a brilliant schizophrenic who is devastated by the unfeeling rejection of his brutal father, fantasizes that he is a golf pro.
Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, where “little things” sometimes become momentous (and often very funny), are moments of great poignancy when, with touching effectiveness, we are reminded that the handicapped, like the rest of us, want only to love and laugh and find some meaning and purpose in the brief time which they, like their more fortunate brothers, are allotted on this earth.
“The Boys Next Door” cast (by hometown)
Toms River, N.J.: Gretchen Freund, Assistant to the Director
Columbia: Jason Abernathy, Barry Klemper
Conway: Greg Williams, Mr. Hedges
Effingham: I’isha Tyler, Clara
Florence: Christopher Blackwell, Arnold Wiggins; Susan Capps, Mrs. Warren; Page Horton, Sheila; Nicole LaCava, Senator Clark
Goose Creek: Brad Sponic, Norman Bulansky
Kershaw: Corey Patterson, Lucien P. Smith
Lake City: David Sistare, Jack
Marion: Tiffany Williams, Mrs. Fremus
Myrtle Beach: Nick Sharrett, Mr. Klemper
Summerville: Mark G. Baloya, Mr. Corbin
#100 / 2-11-02