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William Carey Theatre to present two live comedies

William Carey University Theatre will present two short comedies – “Graceland” and “The Dumb Waiter” – April 21-24 at 7 p.m. in the Joe & Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus.

 

“Graceland” was written by Ellen Byron. It is set outside the gates of Elvis Presley’s Memphis mansion, where two of his biggest fans wait excitedly for it to open to the public for the first time. Middle-aged Bev (Samantha Burkett of Picayune), a loud and gaudy woman, and younger Rootie (Delaney Dukes of Hattiesburg), a shy and nervous woman, eye each other warily as they defend their places in line. Their love of “The King” and shared intimate secrets make them friends.

 

“The Dumb Waiter,” by Harold Pinter, is the story of two hired hitmen waiting nervously for their next assignment. Set in a basement room, this dark comedy shows the two arguing to pass the time. The actors (Shelby Sheffield of Picayune and Josh Luther of Coldwater) will alternate the roles of Ben and Gus. The characters re-read a newspaper as if for the first time, and fuss with the stove and plumbing. Eventually, they see the old dumbwaiter come to life, putting their nerves and the audience on edge.

 

Tim Matheny, chair of the theatre department, is director of “The Dumb Waiter” and Chris Wooten, award-winning community theatre director, is director of “Graceland.”

Theatre faculty member Dewey Douglas is technical director, technical mentor, and scenic designer. Costume designer is Lora Pannell of Richland. Lighting designer is Chace Giadrosich of Picayune and sound designer is Tim Matheny. Mackenzie Charles of McComb is stage manager and Meagan Bihn of Gulfport is properties designer.

 

The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour before each performance. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for senior citizens and military, and $5 for students at any school. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Masks and social distancing are required.

 

To make reservations, call (601) 318-6221.