Stark Theatre debuts play not for the hypersensitive

Morgan Day

Musical theater doesn’t usually lend itself to foul language, but the debut play of the Stark Campus Theatre production season is full of it.

The 2006-2007 season kicks off with “Glengarry Glen Ross” by David Mamet at 8 p.m. tomorrow.

And with an “R” rating, the all-male cast is crossing its fingers for a full house on opening night.

“We’ve rated the play ‘R’ because of language,” theatre Director Phil Robb said. “This isn’t appropriate for some audiences and some ages because of that word — the mother of all words — the f-word.”

Robb said “that word” is used roughly 145 times throughout the play, which lasts approximately an hour and a half. But, with a play like this, the foul language comes with the territory.

“Glengarry Glen Ross” is set in the shark-infested waters of a modern-day real estate office. It pits characters against one another in a quest to rise to the top, but most importantly, to survive.

“Their (frame of mind) is lie, cheat and steal — all in a day’s work,” Robb said. “And these gentlemen, in their process of selling real estate, are not always honest or . . . right.”

Robb described the cast as a tight group of men who have been rehearsing and memorizing their lines since mid-July. The dialogue is complex because it is written the way in which people talk rather than in a structured fashion, he said.

“(The dialogue) is almost like a stream of consciousness. . . . Consequently, the conversations move and shift with alarming rapidity,” Robb explained. “And it deals with the flow of how characters think. That’s a much more difficult dialogue to memorize than something that’s purely linear.”

Rod Lang, cast member and past playwright for Stark Theatre, said that he’s certainly not complaining when he says this show is the most challenging out of the 14 shows he’s participated in at Kent State Stark.

“It’s very demanding of you mentally because you have to always be thinking about where you are, where you’re going and all that stuff,” Lang said. “It’s a wonderful sense of satisfaction when you get the lines learned — assuming that I have.”

Stage manager Terrii Zernechel, senior theater studies major, said she enjoys watching the actors make the transition from themselves into their characters.

“For certain people, it’s a faster process,” Zernechel said. “But once everyone gets there, which is right about now — it’s magic.”

For tickets, call the Kent State Stark Box Office at (330) 244-3348 Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Contact regional south campuses reporter Morgan Day at [email protected].


• Sept. 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 – 8 p.m.

• Sept. 10, 17 – 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are free for Kent State students or $5 for non-KSU students, children under 17 and senior citizens.