GS theatre students will perform "Bug," "Master and Margarita" and "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" this spring

GS theatre students will perform "Bug," "Master and Margarita" and "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" this spring

Blakeley Bartee

Photo by Mick Miller

Three main theatre productions will hit the stage at Georgia Southern University for the spring 2019 semester: “Bug” and “Master and Margarita” at the Statesboro campus, and “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” at the Armstrong campus.

Sarah McCarroll, assistant professor of theatre on the Statesboro campus, said she and her colleagues try to choose a broad range of shows, from the classics to the hyper-contemporary. She said the shows allow the students to tackle a variety of styles and subject matter.

“We cast both of our spring shows right before we left for Christmas,” McCarroll said. “So, ‘Bug’ started read-throughs … so they’re in rehearsals basically from here on out. ‘Master and Margarita,’ we cast in December because it’s just easier to hold auditions for everything at once, but they’ll start rehearsals, because the scale of the show is bigger, beginning in February-ish. So, we usually do about a 6- to 8-week rehearsal period, depending, and Armstrong is the same way.”

“Bug” at the Center for Art & Theatre

Feb. 27 through March 6

Listed on the Center for Art and Theatre website as a play for adult audiences, “Bug” is a dark comedy by Tracy Letts that takes place in a seedy motel room outside of Oklahoma City, according to the website.

“Agnes, a drug-addled cocktail waitress, is hiding from her ex-con ex-husband. Her lesbian biker friend R.C. introduces her to Peter, a handsome drifter who might be an AWOL Gulf War veteran. They soon begin a relationship that takes place almost entirely within the increasingly claustrophobic confines of her motel room,” the website states.

All performances of “Bug” will begin at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday matinees, which will begin at 2 p.m.

“[‘Bug’ is] about what happens when people collectively start to lose their grip on reality,” McCarroll said.

General admission tickets for “Bug” are $12, while student tickets are $6, according to the Center for Art and Theatre website. For more information on ticket prices and other discounts, click here.

“Master and Margarita” at the Center for Art & Theatre

April 17 through April 24

Originally a novel by Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov, this play was adapted specifically for GS by Stacia Saint Owens, according to the Center for Art and Theatre website.

“Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts—one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow—the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow,” the website states.

All performances of “Master and Margarita” will begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performances on Sunday or Monday, McCarroll said, due to the Easter holiday.

“As is true of most things that were produced during the Soviet era, ultimately it’s a sort of meditation on the repression of art and expression,” McCarroll said.

General admission tickets for “Master and Margarita” are $12, while student tickets are $6, according to the Center for Art and Theatre website. For more information on ticket prices and other discounts, click here.

“The Great American Trailer Park Musical” at the Armstrong Jenkins Hall Theatre

April 11 through April 19

This 2006 two-act musical written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso takes place in a trailer park called Armadillo Acres, according to the Dramatists Play Service.

“There’s a new tenant at Armadillo Acres-and she’s wrecking havoc all over Florida’s most exclusive trailer park. When Pippi, the stripper on the run, comes between the Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth collector husband-the storms begin to brew,” the Connect Savannah listing states.

All performances of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” will begin at 7:30 p.m., except the Sunday matinee, which begins at 3 p.m., according to Connect Savannah.

“It’s about life in a trailer park, basically. And, as is true of a lot of 20th century stuff, and maybe even 21st century, there’s an interest in the voices we don’t usually get to hear,” McCarroll said.

General admission tickets for “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” are $15. Tickets for students, children, senior citizens and U.S. Military personnel are $12. To purchase tickets or find more information, go to the Armstrong Box Office website.

Sarah McCarroll on the GS theatre community

Theatre students, McCarroll said, take the same course loads as everyone else, which can be tiring when combined with rehearsal schedules.

“I use the analogy of being an athlete,” McCarroll said. “If you’re at rehearsal—and you’re not always at rehearsal three hours a night—but for the last week and a half, boy, you’re there at least three and probably four or five. So you have to think about regimenting your time in the same way that we ask our student athletes to do. Practice governs the scope of anything else you can do, and rehearsal is the same way.”

However, spending so much time together can be a bonding experience for the students. As a theatre student, McCarroll said, you either learn to get along, or it gets ugly fast. She said she is still best friends with the people she went through her undergrad with. “You’re bonded at the hip if you survive it,” she said.

McCarroll said, “One of the things I actually love about being here—this is not true of every theatre program I’ve worked in—one of the things I love about being here is that our students are really good at celebrating each other’s victories and building each other up. They’re very supportive.”