Williams Baptist University’s Theatre Program is set open its new production season with a fitting new play. Steven Dietz’s This Random World, which premiered at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky., in the spring of 2016, will run Friday, Nov. 3 – Saturday, Nov. 4.
“It’s both exciting and a little nerve-racking working on a play that is only a few years old,” said Melinda Williams, director of production. “In one aspect, you are breaking new ground. In another, you don’t have many past productions to reference.”
Through a series of nearly missed connections, This Random World follows a group of intersecting lives: a mother determined to maintain her independence, a daughter longing for adventure, two sisters seeking common ground, and a son involved in an Internet prank gone terribly wrong. The play, subtitled “the myth of serendipity,” explores the lives that may be happening just out of reach.
“Some of the scenes are very frustrating because the characters’ lives are intertwined, but they keep missing the connections, sometimes by seconds,” Williams said.
The cast includes Kristin Britt of Cleburne, Texas, Brittany Jo Wilson of Doniphan, Mo., Luke Windham of Kansas City, Mo., MaKenzie Free of Beebe, Ark., Emily Morgan of Harrison, Ark., Arthur (A.J.) Rogers of Camden, Ark., Alison Turbyeville of Black Rock, Ark., and Ridge Briney of Corning, Ark.
“Five of the eight performers in the play are making their first appearance on the WBU stage,” Williams noted.
“The show runs a whole range of emotions, humor, sadness, and in some cases, heartbreaking,” Williams said. “We are discovering something new about the characters and their lives each day of rehearsal.”
The production is part of WBU’s Homecoming weekend, and will have a curtain call of 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $3 for students and senior citizens and $5 for general admission. The play will take place in the Old Chapel on the WBU campus.
Williams is a Christian liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge. It will become Williams Baptist University in July.