“Murder in Green Meadows” prepares for a thrilling opening weekend

Kristi Ruff

Gunshots. Swearing. Deceit. Adultery. Binge drinking. Emotional abuse. Mental breakdowns. Inappropriate touching. Gambling. Murder.
Now that I’ve caught your attention, I’d like to inform you that all of these elements are present in the LU Theatre Arts production of Douglas Post’s melodrama “Murder in Green Meadows.” What more you could possibly ask for from a play?
The show, directed by Professor of Theatre Arts Timothy X. Troy, will open in Cloak Theatre this Friday night, May 28, at 10:30 p.m., with additional performances Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m.
Maybe you’ve seen the posters up around campus – you know, the ones with the perfect, rolling green hills and a thoroughly modern white home that looks like something only an architect could live in?
The picture lulls you into a false sense of security, making you wonder what could possibly go wrong in a setting so picturesque. This weekend, however, you’ll find out that just about everything can get turned upside-down, and in the most unimaginable ways.
The play features four main characters: Joan and Thomas Devereaux, played by Katie Cravens and Kyle Brauer, and their neighbors Carolyn and Jeff Symons, played by Erika Thiede and Nate Peterson.
As the two couples get to know each other after the Devereaux’s move to Green Meadows, they become intertwined in very different ways, causing plenty of tension and suspense.
While the play is probably new to most students, it is well-known by the many students who have taken Troy’s Playscript Analysis class; this play has been on its syllabus for about ten years.
This gives the performance special significance. Professor Troy pointed out that it is “different from other productions… there will be about 60 people in the audience who are actually familiar with it.”
Brauer mentioned that this familiarity puts more pressure on the actors, since the audience will be more invested in the show and will “already have ideas about how they think the characters should be played.”
The actors have done a wonderful job in rehearsals so far, and they spent this last week with the tech crew, running parts of the show for continuity, fluency and accuracy
When you go, pay attention to each character’s personality, and notice how brilliantly the actors portray their roles: the compliant Joan, the cold, calculating Thomas, the happy-go-lucky Jeff and the clever Carolyn.
Whether or not you took Playscript Analysis, you are sure to enjoy this so-called “horror-fest.” The drama will pull you in right from the get-go as the events unfold, never releasing its hold until it has thoroughly taught you a lesson about the consequences of cheating, revenge and retribution.
This “psychological thriller for the stage” shows that problems like infidelity, conspiracy, and murder are not just events in movies. They can occur in our own backyards, tearing down the false facade of perfection known as suburbia.