Laughs set to light up the limelight

Laughs set to light up the limelight

Gabi Maylock

Students Ty Quillon, Doyle Yernaux and Rebecca Williams rehearse roles for “Durang Durang.”

Sean Sauro, Opinions Editor

The Pitt-Johnstown Theatre Department is to return Thursday to the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center’s Studio Theatre, but this time they will not be showcasing a single, lengthy show.

Instead, theater department students are to perform six one-act plays under the production title “Durang Durang,” said theater instructor John Teacher.

He said these short acts, named for their writer Christopher Durang, have been chosen for, and aimed toward, providing relevant and lighthearted content.

“The evening will have sort of a ‘Saturday Night Live’ comedy feel,” Teacher said. “It’s a very modern production, mostly dating to the ‘90s.”

Despite seeking a lighthearted delivery, Teacher said this production should demonstrate the performers’ heightened skills.

“The play has a wide range of roles, and it really tests our students,” Teacher said. “I wanted it to be kind of like a stress test.

“This set is one of the more challenging ones that students will have to perform on.”

And the students seem to be rising to the challenge, he said, adding that he has full confidence in a flawless production.

“Everyone has worked very hard, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it will be successful.”

Teacher is not alone in his expectations. Freshman secondary education student and “Durang Durang” stage manager Emily Baker said she, too, predicts a successful production.

“We’ve been preparing very hard, and I think everyone is really excited,” Baker said. “I think the audience will love it.

“It’s a very funny show, so they should prepare to be laughing the whole time.”

Junior theater student Dan Freeman, who will be playing a lead role in one of the acts, shared in Baker’s optimism.

“Everyone is going to find something they like, because the six pieces are just so different,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to how the audience is going to react,” Freeman said. “It’s really witty humor, but a lot of it is very twisted.”

Junior theater student Kevin Keen, who also is to play a prominent role, said production preparation has been rewarding, and he is excited to see the hard work pay off.

“It has definitely been a lot more fun than previous productions,” Keen said. “If I’m looking forward to anything, it’s seeing the cast come together on opening night to work as a whole.”

Though Teacher, the cast and crew predict a successful production and aim to offer an uplifting experience, Teacher offered a warning to prospective audience members.

“The production does contain some adult language and situation humor,” Teacher said, adding that, if it were translated to film, it would probably receive an R rating.

“Durang Durang” performances are to take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, 26 and 27, as well as Nov. 1, 2 and 3 in the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center’s Studio Theatre.