The Herald Bulletin

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May 1, 2014

AU student writes final play as theatre program ends

ANDERSON — The last Anderson University student written production to hit the stage before its theatre program is cut is a classic "whodunit" with a twist.

“Bother” opens with main character Nina sitting in an interrogation room. She’s suspected of murdering her husband and the rest of the play focuses on piecing together what really happened and who’s responsible.

“It’s technically a whodunit,” writer Emily Farris said. “There are a lot of moments about spousal abuse and exploring elements of that.”

“Bother” runs 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Byrum Hall. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Byrum Hall Box Office.

Director Ronald Johnstone said the play is a whodunit and melodrama in one. Farris wrote well-rounded characters, he said, that tell the story from different perspectives, causing the audience to wonder what the truth really is.

“They’re all people who have a journey,” he said. “…They’re all touched by violence in some way. Are these people projecting on her?”

The story flows between the night of the murder and the interrogation, and makes the audience wonder not only who the perpetrator is, but also if Nina was even abused.

Farris, who is a junior theater major with a writing complementary major, said she wrote “Bother” for her senior project. Since Anderson University is cutting theater as a major for incoming students, Johnstone urged Farris to get her play on stage this year.

It took Farris three weeks to write the first draft. Four months and five drafts later, she’s anxious to see the final product on stage.

“It’s always very different going from reading it to seeing it,” she said. “You go from what you see in your head to seeing it in front of you.”

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