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Theatre department presents 'An Absurd Pair'

Theatre department presents 'An Absurd Pair'

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The Lycoming College theatre department presents “An Absurd Pair” of comedies, “Fire in the Basement” and “Out at Sea,” from Oct. 2-5 in the Mary L. Welch Theatre. All performances will begin at 8 p.m. The two Eastern European works celebrate the ridiculous while scrutinizing the art of manipulation. “An Absurd Pair” features adult situations and is recommended for mature audiences.

“Fire in the Basement,” written by Pavel Kohout, features newlyweds who find their modest apartment invaded by four firefighters. The “heroes,” with little reason, quickly begin to monopolize the couple’s lives. Throughout the chaos, a few questions remain: “Where is the fire?” or “Is there even a fire?”

“Out at Sea,” written by Slawomir Mrozek, features three characters of various sizes: a large one, a medium one and a thin one, who are stranded on a raft. The trio confronts the ultimate dilemma as their supplies dwindle: “Whom to eat first?” Now that their survival is at stake, there is only one civilized thing left to do — campaign for their lives.

Both plays, directed by adjunct theatre professor Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian, Ph.D., share a savage humor and sometimes insane intensity as they satirize the very nature of power and its ability to corrupt.

The cast for “Fire in the Basement” includes Robert Hoffman of Hawley, Pa.; Hershey Millner of New Albany, Ohio; Nigel Barnes of Suitland, Md., Taylor Granger of Wernersville, Pa.; Ian Buffum of Barrington, R.I.; and Sarah Beddingfield of Colorado City, Texas. The cast for “Out to Sea” features Beddingfield, Ian Buffum, Katie Buffum of Barrington, R.I.; Emily Early of Houston, Texas; and Kahla Moon of Frederick, Md.

“The 2013-14 season is a celebration of the art of comedy and we are beginning with a bang,” said N.J. Stanley, Ph.D., associate professor of theatre and department chair. “Both ‘Fire in the Basement’ and ‘Out at Sea’ are the epitome of great farce. In fact, these plays even push the limits of the ridiculous!”

Despite all the farcical action, however, Stoytcheva-Horissian said that the stories also reflect a reality for those who lived in the society on which the plays were based. “While many may perceive the plays as ‘absurd,’ for those of us who grew up under the Soviet regime, the improbable situations represented the reality of our everyday lives,” she said.

Tickets for the show only are $10 per person and $8 for seniors and students. Dinner and a show will be offered on Friday, Oct. 4, in the college’s Jane Schultz Room in the Wertz Student Center. Tickets for dinner and a show are $18 and reservations are required. Reservations may be obtained by calling 570-321-4048.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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