Not many scripts can tie a chase scene involving an arrest, nuns, a movie star and the pope into one act. However, the dark comedy “House of Blue Leaves” does so fittingly.
This play is the Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis project for Arts & Sciences senior Kathleen Lawler. She has been involved with Creighton’s theatre program since she was a freshman.
The play shows off strong points of actress Lawler with the challenging role of Bunny Flingus.
“Creating a well-rounded character is kind of difficult,” she said. “Levels and diversity make the characters more real.”
The play premiered in 1971 and won the Critics award and the Obie (Off Broadway) award as best American play that same year. Forty years later, the play still manages to maintain its hilarity.
There is a range of acting, from absurd scenes with great comedy to very serious scenes said Arts & Sciences senior Matt DeNoncour.
The dark comedy follows the hectic life of Artie Shaughnessy, played by DeNoncour, who lives and works at a zoo in Queens, New York, but who wants to make it big as a singer. He has a wife named Bananas played by Arts & Sciences junior Rachel Mans, who literally is bananas, and a mistress Bunny played by Lawler, who is as bubbly and energetic as her name. The darkest character of the cast is Ronnie, Artie’s son played by Business freshman Buck Butler, who is about to be sent to Vietnam but has his own plans of destruction first.
“There are comedic aspects and dark, almost creepy aspects,” Lawler said.
The play is set in 1965, when the Pope visited New York, and focuses on the relationship between Artie and Bananas. Both are on different paths to decipher dreams from reality.
There is an overall theme of selfishness and materialism.
“There are some unsettling truths about society,” Lawler said.
The show is directed by guest director Dr. Amy Lane, a Creighton theatre alumna and current professor at UNO. Lane said that the chance to direct a play at Creighton is a great honor and has been a lot of fun.
The stage is a thrust stage, designed by DeNoncour. Its horseshoe shape allows the audience to sit on three sides to feel as if they are sitting right in the Shaughnessy’s family room.
“Students should come see the play because it’s a cheap date and live theater. Expose yourself to a new form of entertainment and support your fellow Creighton students,” DeNoncour said.
* Showing at the Studio Theatre of the Lied Center for the Arts
* Feb. 25 – 28 at 7:30 p.m and March 1 at 2:30 p.m.
* $5 for all Creighton students, faculty and staff