Seniors to present final production, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’


Ryan Morris

Senior Victor Rivera (Left) and senior Jack Lafferty (Right) rehearse ‘Glengarry Glen Ross.’ The play will show in I.G. Greer on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.  Nicole Debartolo | The Appalachian
When seniors Chris Hinton, Ryan Sheehy, Jack Lafferty, Victor Rivera and Tim Reis realized they were nearing the end of their acting careers, they collectively decided they needed to do one more performance together for closure.

The group approached director Derek Davidson, director of recent stage shows “Big Love” and “Middletown” for ideas of what to do and how to go about producing a show.

During their discussions, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a gritty all-male drama about men selling real estate in Chicago in the 1980s, came up in conversation. The group agreed on this play and recruited juniors Preston Perrin and Jake Dailey to fill the remaining roles.

“It’s very rare [that] you get to pick the cast you work with,” Reis said.

Davidson has since then added the cast and the project under his emerging theatre company called In/Visible Theatre.

“Our desire is to do theatre that is local and to have a venue for local talent,” Davidson, a lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, said. “We think that it’s kind of outlandish for any community to sculpt and mold and cultivate artists who are just going to be outsourced, farmed out to New York or L.A.”

The company focuses on promoting local writers and actors, as well as the more off the radar and edgy works that may not get as much attention.

“We’re catering to hipsters, for lack of a better word – people interested in alternative entertainment,” said Karen Sobo, producing artistic director for In/Visible Theatre.

“Glengarry Glen Ross” is about both the excesses of capitalism and the freedom and opportunities it can bring.

“Given the economic situation that our nation is in, it’s a really relevant play,” Sobo said.

For the actors and director, the intimate cruelty of the play is a welcome switch from more over-the-top stage shows.

“It’s subtle, hard acting that you don’t see a lot,” Davidson said. “You see people being very awful.”

All involved have had to make time for this project, working around other university activities for the actors’ required shows, as well as competing for rehearsal space. However, they agree that the overall process has proven to be all that they were looking for in a project.

“We’re all accountable for ourselves – Derek is treating us like professionals,” Lafferty said. “It feels like a bridge from college amateur acting to the professional world.”

“Glengarry Glen Ross” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. in the I.G. Greer Studio Theatre Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door or by calling (828) 262-3063.

Story: LOVEY COOPER, Senior A&E Reporter

Photo: NICOLE DEBARTOLO, Intern Photographer