Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Theatre Arts will present By the Bog of Cats at Ouachita’s Verser Theatre on Nov. 7-12. Performances on Nov. 7-9 and 11-12 will be at 7:30 p.m. Sunday’s matinee Nov. 10 will be at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 each and may be purchased at www.obu.edu/boxoffice.
By the Bog of Cats is a play written by Marina Carr, and “No, it’s not about cats,” said Kathleen Suit, a sophomore theatre arts major from Hot Springs, Ark., who plays Caroline Cassidy.
“It is a modern representation of the ancient Greek tragedy Medea by Euripides,” she explained. “It is centered around a small community in Ireland called The Bog of Cats and takes a look deep into the lives of some of its very troubled residents.”
Director Garrett Whitehead, a senior musical theatre major from Cleburne, Texas, said the production has “a great moral lesson about sacrifices and how gossip, greed, hearsay and lies can push an individual beyond human endurance.”
The characters in By the Bog of Cats have their own agenda that leads to love, hatred, greed, betrayal and loss. It is “a serious, emotionally heavy show,” Suit noted.
Even though the production is not light-hearted, “there is a character going through something that everyone can relate to, and the text is beautiful,” Whitehead said.
“My favorite thing about being in this production, so far,” he said, “is getting to work with a cast of individuals who are just as passionate about the project as I am. Every member of the cast brings something new to the process every rehearsal.”
With the show being emotionally heavy and requiring an Irish dialect, Suit explained how the production is challenging her and the rest of the cast. “The combination is quite an obstacle we are having to overcome, but one that, upon completion, will have stretched us all to new heights,” she said.
“I really encourage people to come out and let us tell you this wonderful story,” said Suit.
In addition to Whitehead, Natalie Williams, a sophomore music theory and composition major from Little Rock, Ark., serves as music director. Jillian Kaniss, a senior psychology and theatre arts major from Texarkana, Texas, serves as stage manager, and Aaron Pinion, a sophomore theatre arts major from Tulsa, Okla., serves as assistant stage manager.
In addition to Suit, the primary cast of By the Bog of Cats includes: Sara Cat Williams, a sophomore biology major from Roland, Ark., as Hester Swane; Joe Ochterbeck, a senior theatre arts major from Maumelle, Ark., as Carthage Killbride; Kayla Esmond, a senior musical theatre major from Burleson, Texas, as Mrs. Killbride; Sarah Davis, a senior theatre arts and Christian studies major from Bedford, Texas, as Monica Murray; Kayla Walker, a freshman musical theatre major from North Little Rock, Ark., as Catwoman; Timothy Drennan, a senior musical theatre major from Paron, Ark., as Joseph Swane; Jacob Sturgeon, a senior musical theatre major from Pine Bluff, Ark., as Xavier Cassidy; and Lacey Johnson, a senior history and theatre arts major from Little Rock, Ark., as Ghost Fancier.
The Townspeople/Waiters are played by Blaine Surber, a senior musical theatre major from Sulphur Springs, Texas; Shannon Huntsman, a junior speech communication major from Little Rock, Ark.; and Jessica Smith, a junior musical theatre major from Van Buren, Ark.
The Ghost Band includes Nat Williams, a sophomore music theory and composition major from Little Rock, Ark.; Emily Shull, a freshman theatre arts major from Little Rock, Ark.; and Annelise Henley, a senior history, psychology and graphic design major from Arkadelphia, Ark.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.obu.edu/boxoffice or contact the OBU Box Office from 1-5 p.m. on weekdays at (870) 245-5555. Ouachita students get one free ticket with their current OBU ID.
By Kaitie Scott