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Post-apocalyptic “Mr. Burns” launches Lycoming theatre season

Post-apocalyptic “Mr. Burns” launches Lycoming theatre season

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Lycoming College will open the 2021-22 theatre season with “Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play,” a dark comedy written by Anne Washburn. The post-apocalyptic drama will be directed by C. Austin Hill, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of theatre, and will take place in the Mary L. Welch Theatre from Nov. 17-20 at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased starting Nov. 3 by calling the box office at 570-321-4048, or online.

“This is a very important play and one that asks some really big questions about things like cultural memory, mourning, and the economics of culture,” said Hill. “After the wide range of things we have lived through over the past two years— a pandemic, a series of socio-cultural upheavals, and more— Anne Washburn’s 2008 play is even more relevant now than when it was written.”

Set after the collapse of the power grid and of most infrastructures in the United States (and presumably the whole world), “Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play” follows a small group of survivors as they navigate the destruction around them. To stave off their own terror and grief, the group recounts the narrative of “Cape Feare,” an episode from the TV show “The Simpsons.” The play fast forwards to seven years later where the same group, to make their living, performs various episodes, and then another 75 years where “The Simpsons” are represented in a religious ritual, meant to reflect the overall disaster and loss from the catastrophe.

“The contexts have changed and the memories are spotty, but the characters remain,” said Hill. “This play is a little dark, a bit heavy, and tons of (twisted) fun.”

The cast and crew welcomes both familiar and new faces to the stage. With over 14 actors and actresses in the production, the lead roles include:

  • Jenny/ Homer - Laura Ulrich ’24 (Allenwood, Pa.), political science major, theatre minor
  • Maria/ Marge - Hannah Defrates ’24 (Haddonfield, N.J.), musical theatre major
  • Sam/ Scratchy - Thatcher Gunnells ’24 (Lebanon, Pa.), English-list major, theatre performance minor
  • Gibson/ Burns - Douglas Dixey ’25 (Bensalem, Pa.), musical theatre major, business administration minor
  • Matt/ Troy - Malik Wertman ’22 (Muncy, Pa.), psychology major, theatre performance minor

Ticket prices for all shows are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors,  and can be purchased beginning Nov. 3 by calling the box office at 570-321-4048, or online at

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