The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Student theatre brings off-Broadway play to SMU

Many are probably familiar with the film version of “TheShape of Things,” which was released in the theatres earlierthis year. The play, by writer/director Neil Labute, willbe performed this week in the SMU Student Theatrestudio.

The story centers on the romantic life of an English student anda museum guard. Adam (played by senior Matt Humphrey) meets arebellious art student named Evelyn (played by sophomore LauraSchutt) at a college art gallery. The two become romanticallyentangled and Evelyn helps Adam to become a betterperson.

Meanwhile, the changes that she brings are not completelyappreciated by his longtime female best friend Jenny (who is playedby sophomore Hayli Henderson).

Jenny’s husband Phillip (played by junior Bryan Young),also has trouble adapting to Adam’s transformation. The twocouples find themselves swept up in the ramifications ofAdam’s new-found self-confidence.

Yet the audience and characters should prepare for thewhole story to be unraveled.

“By the end of the play, everyone’s ideals aresmashed,” director Ben Lutz said. “Both cast andaudience should come out of this show questioning their livesa little more.”

The play is full of very powerful themes that challenge andconfront the viewer.

“The piece really comments on how far the artistictemperament can be taken,” Lutz said. “In many ways,this piece is very auto-biographical to Labute.”

Aside from the themes, the writer’s language also adds avery interesting element to directing. The charactersare written to sound like real people.

Lutz chose to direct this piece because “Labute is amodern writer, and we don’t get many modern plays at thisschool,” Lutz said.

Aside from the rough language, the writing is very poetic,insightful, and genuine.

The play has received tremendous attention since it’soff-Broadway stage debut in 2001.

Labute is widely recognized as one of the most powerful newvoices in American theatre.

To prepare for the play, the students had to create charactersthat justified their actions. Each actor created tactilemotivations for their characters throughout the course of theplay.

“These characters are coming from real places. They arereal people who really believe in what they are doing,” Lutzsaid.

The show will be performed in two acts with intermission. Theplay is stage-managed by Marlon Meikle.

Showtimes are at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday and at 5 p.m.on Sunday in studio B450 in Meadows School of the Arts.

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