Waxahachie, TX – October 20, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Theatre will perform "The Boy Next Door," October 27 – 30.
The play is about the lives of four mentally handicapped men who live in a home in New England. Norman, who works in a doughnut shop and is unable to resist the lure of the sweet pastries, takes great pride in the huge bundle of keys that dangles from his waist; Lucien P. Smith has the mind of a five-year-old but imagines that he is able to read and comprehend the weighty books he lugs about; Arnold, the ringleader of the group, is a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer, who suffers from deep-seated insecurities and a persecution complex; while Barry, a brilliant schizophrenic who is devastated by the unfeeling rejection of his brutal father, fantasizes that he is a golf pro. Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, where “little things” sometimes become momentous (and often very funny), are moments of great poignancy. SAGU’s treatment of the play intends to challenge the audience with the question, "How do I treat those who are different than I?”
To prepare for the sensitivity of the play, SAGU student actors partnered with the Green Oaks School, a Christian school in Arlington for students with Down syndrome and similar developmental delays. Gutierrez contacted their assistant principal Leigh Weedman and arranged an opportunity for SAGU students to visit with and work with the Green Oaks students. Students had the opportunity to work with elementary, secondary and transition classes. The department will continue to partner with the school for the remainder of the semester. The October showings of the play coincide with Down syndrome Awareness Month.
October 27 – 29, 7:30 p.m.
October 30, 3 p.m.