Communication Arts plans for the semester
Waxahachie, TX – September 28, 2011 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Theatre is planning for two plays this semester: "The Boys Next Door” on October 27-30 and "Over the River and through the Woods” on December 1-4.
Photos used with permission from Green Oaks School.
“The first time I read ‘The Boys Next Door,’ I was hooked,” shared Theatre Instructor and Director Ursula Gutierrez. I wanted to share the play with everyone around me. I also knew that this play would be an opportunity for our student actors to challenge themselves.”
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.
“We did not want our students to just perform. I wanted the cast to truly understand who they are portraying and to have a deep-rooted love for their characters,” said Gutierrez. "I truly believe that the Green Oaks students have helped us greatly and have taught us what it means to genuinely love someone that you have never met before. These students are the most loving and caring people I have ever met, and we have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with them.”
The department will also perform Southwestern Live, a campus variety show, during Campus Days, November 3-4 and “Over the River and through the Woods” from December 1-4.
Dramatic Pause, SAGU’s traveling drama team, finished their eight week summer tour in South Texas and West Florida at the beginning of September. The group’s focus this fall will be to visit churches during the weekends, hold drama workshops and minister to the congregation on Sunday mornings. The group’s first ministry opportunity this semester was at Abundant Life Assemblies of God Church in Grand Prairie last Wednesday, September 21.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.