The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW stages coming-of-age tale

By Hope Sandusky/ editor-in-chief

Theatre Northwest’s presentation of Anatomy of Gray is a coming-of-age story that relates to all ages.

Travis Matheny and Angelica Gonzales work to heal Carson Cocknell from a mysterious plague while Travis Brents holds a gun to him in protest of the doctor’s healings in the NW production Anatomy of Grey.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Travis Matheny and Angelica Gonzales work to heal Carson Cocknell from a mysterious plague while Travis Brents holds a gun to him in protest of the doctor’s healings in the NW production Anatomy of Grey.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

Opening Oct. 14, the play centers around a young girl in a small town whose life is changed when a new man comes into town claiming to be a doctor who can cure anything.

“The reason we did this play was that it is a really good story about a young girl looking for her purpose in life,” NW drama associate professor and director Joshua Blann said. “The playwright [Jim Leonard Jr.] was inspired by the AIDS crisis in the ’80s. He was impacted both by a friend who had died from AIDS and over the fear and misunderstanding over the disease. He wanted to pay homage by putting someone at the center who through this trial and journey finds themselves.”

Blann said while he and the cast first and foremost want the audience to have a good night at the theater, they want the audience to think deeper too.

“We want them to recognize that hope can still survive suffering,” he said. “We want them to feel that as the characters go through their struggles.”

Angelica Gonzales, who portrays the main character Jane, said she identifies strongly with her character.

“Especially for my character, this is a coming-of-age story,” she said, “definitely her coming into adulthood and wanting to be taken seriously. There is a strong sense of community that everyone grows and learns from, even with the older characters. Almost everyone has a coming-of-age story.”

Travis Matheny, who portrays the doctor, said that Anatomy of Gray is a good example of learning how to live life with a variety of people.

“You have all these different people from different backgrounds learning how to work well with each other,” he said. “My character blows in, and everything is different within the group. They have to figure out how to do life together.”

While the play does take on the serious subject of death, the cast members say they do it in a fun and meaningful way.

“It’s a hopeful, feel-good story in a weird way,” Matheny said. “There is definitely a lot of fun stuff for adults and kids. It gives a new perspective over family, and there are some serious things tucked behind the hijinks that take place.”

Actor Sarah Driskill agreed, saying that despite the time difference of the play being in Indiana during the 1800s, many of the subjects are things people deal with today.

“It’s a very relatable show with a lot of great messages,” she said. “It deals with the same things we do today like death and sickness.”

The cast hopes the audience can take away a new perspective with their performance.

“We all have to face challenges,” actor Spencer Fontenot said. “Even though we don’t know why certain things happen, we all learn from that and grow from it and have to deal with hard things.”

Carson Cocknell, who plays the preacher, said that the biggest takeaway from the play is to not judge.

“We are so quick to judge outsiders,” he said. “And throughout the play, you see the process of how we blame someone else for our own problems. We have to learn from that and grow from it.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian