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

Town finds hope despite violence in SE drama

By Dylan Leverett/ reporter

James Delk practices his lines for his character Silent Jesse.
James Delk practices his lines for his character Silent Jesse.

SE Campus hopes to find the good in humanity amid horrific acts of violence with its production of Back County Crimes by Lanie Robertson. 

Director Tabitha Ray describes the production as a “memory play” that tells the story of a small-town doctor as he tries to come to terms with his experiences during his many years of service in a crime-ridden town.

Ray finds it refreshing and appropriate that a play about death and crime has a doctor as the lead.

“It’s not from a police officer or a detective. It’s from the perspective of a doctor,” she said. “He’s there as life begins. He’s there when life ends.”

Although its title and content may conjure up images of blood and gore, Ray notes that her production will focus on the abstract concepts of violence as opposed to graphic portrayals of violence.

“Each person plays several different characters, with the exception of Doc, and it’s really given them an opportunity to grow,” Ray said. “We’re under a tight production [deadline], so it’s forced them to up their professionalism.”

Cameron Slaughter, who plays Doc, finds parallels between his own personality and his character’s.

“He cares. He cares for the people. He cares for the town. After everything, he still loves them for who they are,” Slaughter said.

Kaitlin McGehee, Lukas Shayne and Maddie Tarbutton rehearse for Back County Crimes opening on SE.Photos by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Kaitlin McGehee, Lukas Shayne and Maddie Tarbutton rehearse for Back County Crimes opening on SE.
Photos by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

As well as playing several roles, the actors will also do their own lighting, sound effects and music for the production.

“There’s one part in the play where we all blow up paper bags and pop them at the same time,” actor Corina Sosa said. “It’s my favorite part, and it adds some comic relief.”

Ray said two motifs are at odds throughout the play: the concrete nature of the law and the abstract nature of love.

Actor Kaitlin McGehee explains the duality of the play’s violence.

“With there being so much violence, you have to look for the love,” she said. “My character poisons her husband because he talks to everyone but her. It comes from a place of love.”

Actor Shelby Christopher defends the motivations of the play’s flawed characters.

“These characters are all a certain way because of the things that have happened to them,” she said.

Slaughter hopes that the morbid production will impart a hopeful message to attendees.

“It doesn’t matter what people do or what happens to you, you have to always find the goodness in people. You have to love,” he said. “You gotta find the good and try to help.”

Performances are free to all TCC students, faculty and staff, $3 for outside students and senior citizens and $6 for general admission. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2-4 in Roberson Theatre with matinees at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Call 817-515-3599 for reservations.

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