Theatre performs Neil Simon’s ‘Rumors’


Carody Franklin

“Rumors” was performed Nov. 9-12 in the newly-renovated Rice Auditorium. Senior Haley Roberts, junior Jason Shipps, and sophomore Erynne Jamison are pictured above.

The Baker University Theatre Department will be preforming its second production of the year, “Rumors” by Neil Simon this week. Performances will be held Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee being performed on Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is free and reservations are not required.

The play follows a group of six people at a dinner party where something has gone horribly wrong with the host and his wife. It has a mystery format with each character bringing their own wacky personalities to make the story amusing and suspenseful.

The play also marks the first theatre production performed in the newly renovated Rice Auditorium.

Patti Heiman, instructor of theatre and the play’s director, wanted this production to be one written by Neil Simon.

“Neil Simon is a stylized writer and very popular,” Heiman said.

Another reason she wanted the play to be written by Simon was because she wanted theatre students to experience acting in one of his plays before they graduate. She wanted them to walk away with this experience so they would be ready to act in his work again in the future.

Freshman Morgan Masters plays Cassie Cooper and is looking forward to performing in front of an audience.

“The whole play is spastic, which makes it really fun to perform because everyone is running around like a chicken with their head cut off,” Masters said.

Simon wrote the play to be absurd in nature and the comedy aspect has made it challenging to perform.

“With anything in comedy timing is key,” Masters said. “Some of the jokes need to be timed perfectly to come across as funny and that is where it gets difficult sometimes.”

Another challenge with the play is the crew.

“We got a very green crew and they just haven’t gotten the rhythm down yet,” Heiman said.

Sophomore Rose Ulrich is a crew member and is in charge of running the lightboard.

“I have run the lightboard for two shows, but now we have a brand new lightboard so it has been a little challenging to figure out how to use it,” Ulrich said.

Ulrich is also having a difficult time adapting to different stage managers’ styles.

“The stage manager [Tom Heiman] calls cues differently than any other stage manager I have worked for,” Ulrich said.

Despite those challenges, Ulrich enjoys seeing the whole show come together in front of an audience. She said seeing the audience’s reaction to the jokes and the play will be the most enjoyable part for her.

Heiman said she enjoyed working with the actors involved because the dedication they have shown has been her favorite part of this production. Heiman encourages everyone to see the play as it will “be a blast.”