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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Play immerses audience in history, explores relationships

 
 

What happens when eight people with nothing in common find themselves stranded in a diner during a blizzard? You get “Bus Stop,” a witty, comical and evocative play that takes audience members into history and explores the complexities of relationships.
“Bus Stop,” a play presented by the Texas A&M Department of Performance Studies’ Theater Program and performed by students, premiered Thursday to a sold-out crowd and examines the culture of the 1950s and the interactions of individuals from different backgrounds.
The play was originally written by William Igne in 1955 and follows the tale of eight characters caught in a diner during a freak blizzard. The story revolves around character interactions, especially between the cowboy Bo and nightclub singer Cheri, played by freshman Sean Gordon, biological and agricultural engineering major, and senior Anna Pruitt, theatre arts major.
Amy Guerin, professor for the Department of Performance Studies, directs the play.
“You get to see people as they are, with all their quirks, the good and the bad,” Guerin said. “It is a play about its time. The play is really about the question [of] how we love.”
Josh Hardcastle, senior agricultural communication and journalism major and theatre arts minor, said the play delves into the complexities of interpersonal relationships.
“When Igne wrote this play, he wanted to display a variety of relationships,” Hardcastle said. “[The play] deals with complexity and relationships and how people define them.”
“Bus Stop” premiered on Broadway in 1955 and was later adapted into a Marilyn Monroe film a year later. This production places a particular emphasis on historical accuracy, utilizing checkerboard floors and homemade pies to take audience members to Kansas in 1950. Cast members said the process of developing the characters and set was as detailed as possible.
Hardcastle, the dramaturg for the play, was responsible for researching and fact checking for background and context. He said his job gave him a new perspective on the play, and that the rendition being performed on campus is his favorite, by far.
“I’ve been researching the 1950s and Kansas to provide context for the cast,” Hardcastle said. “This process has made the play new for me again. I’ve seen it 3 or 4 times and this is the best production I’ve seen. This cast, they have everything down. They do an excellent job of performing the entire play.
With the sold-out Thursday performance, the play is looking to be a showstopper.
“We are going to do it right, make it funny and show what A&M Theater is all about,” Gordon said.

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