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Blinn College-Brenham Theatre turns out the lights for ‘Black Comedy’

British farce that takes place during a blackout comes to the O’Donnell Center, Feb. 22-25

February 9, 2018

Black Comedy

The Blinn College-Brenham Campus Theatre Arts Program will feature the light-hearted “Black Comedy” Feb. 22-25 at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center.

The fourth play featured in Blinn-Brenham’s Season of Dark Tales, “Black Comedy” by Peter Shaffer is a British farce that takes place during a blackout. The play tells the story of Brindsley, a sculptor, and his fiancée, Carol, who have borrowed expensive furniture from a neighbor without permission in order to impress a millionaire art collector coming to view the young artist’s work. When a blown fuse plunges the building into darkness, Carol’s militant father arrives, the neighbor returns early, and Brindsley’s ex-girlfriend shows up unexpectedly.

“It goes with our season because it takes place during a blackout and there is a gimmick that makes it a lot more fun to watch,” said Brad Nies, Theatre Director. “When the stage lights are on, that is when our characters are in the dark but the audience can see. Then when the stage is in darkness, that is when the characters can see.”

The play features highly exaggerated comedic moments and, despite its name, is light-hearted and family friendly.

“There are going to be a lot of times when the lights come on and quickly go back off and so I have to make sure they go on cue,” said sophomore Brianna Hyman, stage manager. “This is a comedy that the audience will definitely enjoy, and it is especially humorous watching the characters try to feel their way through the dark.”

Since the actors will spend the majority of the time on stage in “darkness,” a lot of preparation has taken place during dress rehearsals, including having the actors wear blindfolds to see what it is like to live in darkness.

“The blindfold exercise really helped me get a feel of what it is like not to be able to see because my character spends a majority of the time moving furniture back and forth between apartments in darkness,” said sophomore Blake Latz, who plays Brindsley. “The audience will like that the lights are reversed because they will be able to see things that our characters don’t know are happening and will know more about what is taking place on stage than we do.”

The play will be Blinn-Brenham’s entry in the 2018 Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association Play Festival.

Nies will direct the play, with Kevin Patrick serving as technical director, and Jennifer Patrick as costume designer.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, children, and senior citizens. Blinn students, faculty, and staff receive free tickets with the code “staffcomp.”

To purchase tickets, visit www.blinn.edu/boxoffice or call 979-830-4024.