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WNCC theater students will perform ‘wicked fun play’ ‘Fuddy Meers’

January 16, 2019

SCOTTSBLUFF — A dark, chaotic rollercoaster show called “Fuddy Meers” will grace the stage at the John N. Harms Center on the Western Nebraska Community College campus in early March.

In preparation for opening night, the cast is hard at work reading through the script and building the set.

The storyline focuses on the life of Claire, played by Daniela Lopez. Claire has a rare form of psychogenic amnesia that erases her memory whenever she goes to sleep. On this morning, like all mornings, she wakes up a blank slate. Her chipper husband Richard, played by Joseph Orozco, comes in with a cup of coffee, explains her condition, hands her a book filled with all sorts of essential information and he disappears into the shower.

While the story seems to parallel the popular movie “50 First Dates,” Claire’s story is not so simple. As Claire stays in her bed, she soon realizes she is not alone. A limping, lisping, half-blind, half-deaf man in a ski mask pops out from under her bed and claims to be her brother. James Maag serves as the stories antagonist as the character Limping Man. He tells Claire he has come to save her.

Claire’s info book is quickly discarded and she’s hustled off to the country-house of her mother. Her mother Gertie, played by Abaigael O’Connor, recently suffered from a stroke that has resulted in a speech impairment. Gertie’s speech impairment has turned her speech into utter gibberish. Claire’s journey gets even more complicated when a dimwitted thug with a foul-mouthed hand puppet pops up at a window, and her driven husband and perpetually stoned son show up with a claustrophobic lady-cop that they’ve kidnapped.

As the twists and turns of this funhouse plot unfold, Claire gets closer to revealing her past life and what she thought she’d forgotten.

Lopez said the most challenging part about playing Claire is personifying the role of someone with amnesia who is confused everyday as she tries to decipher her fractured life. Throughout the poignant and brutal new comedy, the audience watches as a woman attempts to regain her memory as a curio-cabinet of alarmingly bizarre characters enter her life.

Orozco described the show’s characters as overwhelmed with a manic energy.

“It’s going to be hard to not get too carried away with it and also tell an efficient story.”

WNCC Theatre Arts Program Director and Instructor Robert Thompson Jr. will also play a role in “Fuddy Meers.” His split personality gives rise to two characters, Millet, a dimwitted thug with a foul-mouthed hand puppet. Thompson said the two roles take on a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality.

“The hardest thing is acting for my students to embody what I’ve been teaching them for the last two years,” he said. “But as an actor, the character is split up almost like a split personality, so first off, I want to make sure they’re as far off as possible and I think your heart goes out to Millet, who I play as a sweetheart guy, because all of these bad things happen to him and the opposite is Hinky Binky, which is this persona Millet puts on to deal with all the hard things that have happened to him.”

The showtimes are March 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and March 3 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $5 and are available by calling 630-6550 or online at wncc.edu/performingarts. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour prior to curtain.

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