Theatre Deparment plans upcoming play: “The Fourth Wall” will hit the stage this month

Shannon Beaudry, Staff Writer

Francis Marion University theatre’s next production will be A.R. Gurney’s “The Fourth Wall.” The performances will be held on Feb. 17 to Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. each night.

“The Fourth Wall” is directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Dr. Dawn Larsen. The production’s assistant director is C.J. Miller. The play features a very small cast of only four characters. These roles will be played by Matthew Adkins, Micheala Gentry, Jessica Coleman and Daniel Price.

The play’s title and premise are a play on the theatre concept known as “the fourth wall.” This describes the invisible wall or barrier between a play and the audience that is watching.

In “The Fourth Wall,” a character named Peggy decides to redecorate her living room as if it were a stage.  She leaves one wall without any decoration – the fourth wall, which is actually where the audience sits.

Roger, Peggy’s husband, tries to deal with his wife’s peculiar choice in decoration and believes something is wrong with her. He invites his friend, Julia, to visit and help him through his ordeal.

Throughout the play, strange things occur to the characters. Principally, whenever a character comes into the living room, they begin to inexplicably act like they are in a play.

Roger then talks Peggy into seeing a theatre professor named Floyd, hoping that he will help her move past her peculiarity. Instead, Floyd encourages Peggy to continue treating the room as a stage.

Peggy’s use of the “stage” and the “fourth wall” become symbolic of her life. In order for Peggy to get to the root of her emotions, she must break the “fourth wall.” In theatre, when an actor “breaks the fourth wall,” they move past the invisible barrier and speak directly to the audience.

With its minimalist cast and unusual plot, The Fourth Wall should prove to be an entertaining, and perhaps thought-provoking, experience. Everyone is encouraged to see FMU students and faculty put on this interesting production.

Tickets are free and will be available at the box office starting on Feb. 7. Anyone who would like to reserve seats can call the box office at (843) 661-1365. The box office’s hours are Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.