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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Feb. 13, 2009

'Road' is a dark path

by Erin Rosacker

On the Open Road

On the Open Road is a story of two men searching for freedom in a dark time. Angel (Caleb Woodley, on left) and Al (Mat Wymore) are unlikely friends brought together by desperate circumstances. Photo by Patrick Gouran.

As part of ISU Theatre's annual lineup, this year's student-produced show, On the Open Road, takes the stage Feb. 19-22 in the Memorial Union's Maintenance Shop. Nick Juelsgaard, a senior from Creston, is directing the play.

"This is a black comedy, the style that I like to direct," Juelsgaard said.

On the Open Road, a two-act play by Steve Tesich, is the story of two men on a quest for freedom in the midst of chaos. Juelsgaard's production is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where brainy Al (senior Mat Wymore) stumbles upon brawny Angel (junior Caleb Woodley) and sets up a companionship born of desperation. The pair travels toward the "Land of the Free," plundering valuables from a landscape suffering the ravages of a civil war with more than two sides.

"We chose to set this in the United States, in the year 2030. It's Jesus' second coming, and everything blows up from there," Juelsgaard said. "It's a wasteland. The set will be pretty, in the fact that it is dirty."

There are just three speaking parts among the six-member cast, including a menacing monk (senior John Flotho) charged with guarding a cello-playing Jesus (not yet cast). Supporting characters include a young girl (senior Stephanie Sanyour), a young boy and an executioner (both played by junior Will Rundle).

"It's not a tragedy, it's a story of realization," Juelsgaard said. "The idea is that in a world in which you've lost all hope, you can find love and hope in other human beings."

Tickets, available at the MU ticket office, are $6 for adults and $4 for students. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday's matinee is at 2 p.m.


On The Open Road

Feb. 19-22
Maintenance Shop, MU
Tickets: $4-$6