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Atlantic stage performs two one-act plays in dark comedy 'Durang Durang'

November 9, 2012

Atlantic Stage Theatre presents an evening of short plays with "Durang Durang," a double feature of dark comedy, opening on Friday, Nov. 9, and running through Sunday, Nov. 25, at the 79th Avenue Theatre in Myrtle Beach.

"Durang Durang" is comprised of Christopher Durang's companion one-act plays, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You" and "The Actor's Nightmare."

This production is recommended for mature audiences.

In "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You," a catechism lesson takes a dark and deadly turn. Sister Mary is answering questions and lecturing on the Ten Commandments and heaven and hell, with the help of Thomas, a young precocious student. Meanwhile, her former students are waiting to surprise her with a revenge plan by her former student Diane, who came to hate Sister for teaching her that God answers all prayers. But, as Sister Mary also said, "Sometimes God says no." A lapse in faith has Diane bring former classmates with her, a homosexual, a mother of an illegitimate child, and an alcoholic who hits his wife and is considering suicide. It is clear to Sister that they have all sinned and that no one learned anything in her class. Their stories, though disturbing, are given humor by Sister's reaction and advice. The religion lesson turns deadly; the only question left is who is going to heaven and who is going to hell?

In "The Actor's Nightmare," George finds himself trapped in the role of an understudy who has to go on that night. Now he is to perform alongside some of the greatest actors ever, but he does not know his lines or even the play. In fact, he thinks he is an accountant, not an actor. In a panic, George tries his best to come up with the correct lines, but instead finds his neck on the line, literally, and just wants to wake up from what he believes is a nightmare. "Waking up in a theatre without knowing your lines, your cues, or even what play you are doing is the worst possible nightmare for an actor," says director Kristi Rau McIntyre, company member. While this is a nightmare for George, it is a comedy for the audience as the rest of the cast and stage manager are trying to salvage what is left of the show.

The performance schedule for "Durang Durang" is as follows:

Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. (opening night)

Week 1: Friday, Nov. 9, Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 11, 3 p.m. (Talk back Sunday with the cast and crew of Durang Durang following the performance)

Week 2: Thursday, Nov. 15 to Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18, 3 p.m. (Talk back Sunday with the cast and crew of Durang Durang following the performance)

Week 3: Friday Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 24, 3 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 25, 3 p.m.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no performance on Thursday Nov. 22, but a Saturday matinee has been added on Nov. 24 at 3 p.m.

"Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You" is directed by company member Sandra Shackelford, and "The Actor's Nightmare" is directed by company member Kristi Rau McIntyre. The cast features Equity actor Marianne Fraulo (Sister Mary and Sarah Siddons), Coastal Carolina University graduates Shana Meyerand (Diane and Meg) and Jedediah Keck (Gary Sullivan and Henry Irving). Bo Bogle (Aloysisus Busiccio and George Spelvin) and CCU student Shannon Burke (Ellen Terry and Philomena Rostovich) complete the dual cast, which also features Jacob Smith as Thomas. The scenic design is by company members Thom Penn and Mindi Penn.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the Atlantic Stage box office at 1-877-287-8587 or Single tickets range from $17.50-$27.50 at the door. Discounts are available for students, seniors (55+), the military and groups.