Lake Park Theatre to put on American classic 'Bus Stop' Oct. 6-8

  • Lake Park junior Bella Walloch portrays the young waitress Elma Duckworth and senior Kyle Freeman as Dr. Gerald Lyman, a college professor with a dark past, in the production of "Bus Stop" on Oct. 6-8.

    Lake Park junior Bella Walloch portrays the young waitress Elma Duckworth and senior Kyle Freeman as Dr. Gerald Lyman, a college professor with a dark past, in the production of "Bus Stop" on Oct. 6-8. Courtesy of Bari Baskin

 
 
Posted10/4/2022 1:16 AM

Lake Park High School Theatre will be exploring the themes of loneliness and connection in their fall production of William Inge's classic "Bus Stop."

The 1955 play, later adapted for the screen starring Marilyn Monroe, has seen received major revivals in the United States and United Kingdom in 2010 and 2011.

 

"Although the play is over 60 years old, modern audiences can relate to the themes," explains director Kathy Weber. "Our ensemble cast is excellent. I am very proud of our Lake Park students who are producing such a challenging story."

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Oct. 6-8, in the Lake Park East Campus Dice Auditorium, 600 Medinah Road, Roselle.

The Daily Herald checked in with Weber and the cast to learn more about this production.

Q. Why did you choose "Bus Stop" for Lake Park High School's fall play?

A. Weber likes to choose classic literature for the students at Lake Park, and she especially admires the work of playwright William Inge whose characters are nuanced and multidimensional.

Q. For those who aren't familiar, please describe the plot.

A. "Bus Stop" is a 1955 play by American playwright William Inge. Produced on Broadway, it was nominated for four Tony Awards in 1956. This American classic is about loneliness, and the struggle for human connection.

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Set in rural Kansas during a snowstorm, bus passengers have to take overnight shelter in a local diner owned by Grace Hoylard (senior Maggie Gordon), and assisted by young waitress, Elma Duckworth (junior Bella Walloch).

The passengers include Dr. Gerald Lyman (senior Kyle Freeman), a college professor with a dark past, and Cherie (junior Kelly Hanssen), a nightclub singer who is romantically pursued by Montana rancher, Bo Decker (senior Sammy Carstens).

Bo's sidekick, Virgil Blessing (freshman Phillip Howlett), Will Masters (sophomore Cam Helgeson), the local sheriff, and Carl (freshman Javarius Lane), the bus driver, round out the cast.

Q. What do some of the performers have to say about the show and their role in it?

A. Kelly Hanssen commented on her character: "Cherie has been one of the most challenging roles I've played, just because she has a lot of different layers to try and portray as an actor."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sammy Carstens reflected on playing Cherie's paramour, Bo: "Playing Bo really challenged me; he is very much a loose cannon that takes you on a very bumpy trip. I have to portray him as a threatening figure, but then switch up in the end to a much more tender, loving person. I kind of like that Bo is able to change from a no-manners cowboy to a warmhearted gentleman."

Q. Anything else you'd like readers to know about this show?

A. Tickets, which may be purchased at the door, are free to seniors and Lake Park students, $3 for non-Lake Park students and $5 for adults.

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