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Sept. 26, 2008

Fifth of July

Fifth of July, ISU Theatre's first production of the 2008-09 season, features just eight actors. Photo by Patrick Gouran.

Fifth of July is theater opener

by Anne Krapfl

ISU Theatre launches its three-production fall next week with Fifth of July, a 1977 play set in rural Lebanon, Mo.

Ken Talley is a gay Vietnam veteran who is a paraplegic. His partner Jed is a horticulturist. Several college friends and family members visit their farm for the Independence Day holiday. They celebrate, but the day after, these former student activists begin to cope with lives that haven't turned out as planned and dreams that are just that. So, the "fifth of July" is metaphorical for the stages of their lives. The big day is over and now they must take that first, uncertain step toward the future.

"It's very funny at points, but it's also tragic," said Brad Dell, director and theater faculty member. "Not as tragic as the worst day of your life, but tragic like everyday life can be."

But he calls Fifth of July "a very beautiful story" and a "fantastic acting opportunity" for ISU students.

"The characters are very real, very three-dimensional and their histories are so fleshed out," he said. He also noted that the "ensemble" format of Fifth of July means that all eight roles are about the same size and the actors share the stage.

Juniors Don Watts and Jeff Mason play Ken and Jed, respectively. The cast also features juniors Chris King and Kelly Teitsworth, sophomores Margeaux Mireault and Katelyn Thompson, freshman Meghan Sigwarth and senior Mat Wymore.

All performances are in Fisher Theater. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, 4, 10 and 11. Matinees begin at 2 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 12. Tickets, available through Ticketmaster, including the Stephens ticket office, are $14 ($12 for seniors, $7 for students).


Fifth of July

7:30 p.m. Oct. 3, 4, 10 and 11

2 p.m. Oct. 5 and 12

Fisher Theater

Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster