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

Boys’ Life puts audience on stage

By Bethany Peterson/nw news editor

Boys will be boys, and some of them grow up.

Boys’ Life, the latest NW Campus theater production, follows three friends as they flounder through life after college. The qualities of a real man, and their relationships with each other, the women in their lives and those they wish were in their lives are all critical pieces of the puzzle they attempt to figure out.

The play will run at 7:30 p.m. April 28-May 1 and 2 p.m. May 2 in Theater Northwest. Tickets are free for TCC students, faculty and staff, $3 for non-TCC students and senior citizens and $6 for the general public.

Seating is limited to 70 per show because the audience will be seated on the back of the stage facing toward the usual seating area. Action will take place on the front of the stage.

Students Danney Clawson and Katie Hill rehearse a scene for the upcoming production of Boys’ Life to run 7:30 p.m. April 28- May 1 and 2 p.m. May 2 in Theatre Northwest. Photo by Mackenzie Ashton/The Collegian
Students Danney Clawson and Katie Hill rehearse a scene for the upcoming production of Boys’ Life to run 7:30 p.m. April 28- May 1 and 2 p.m. May 2 in Theatre Northwest. Photo by Mackenzie Ashton/The Collegian

The switch was made to give the actors and the audience a new experience. Plus, the closeness worked well with the play, said play director Brent Alford.

“It is a very small play, very personal,” he said.

The play deals with real-life problems in a frank, honest and funny way, Alford said.

Sometimes it’s a little too honest for young children. Alford said he did not think the play was appropriate for anyone under 17 because of the strong language.

Danney Clawson plays Jack, a married father who is the leader of the trio of friends and a perfectly horrible example, Clawson said.

His wife works and brings in all the money, leaving Jack to do what he pleases, including smoking pot. Clawson said he had to learn the mannerisms of smoking for the role.

“My character smokes like a chimney,” Clawson said.

Anthony Burkmier’s character, Phil, is not a loser, but almost.

“He is this guy who absolutely loves women,” Burkmier said. “He is possessive and a creep. He is so desperate, so pitiful.”

Burkmier said Phil goes through various levels of depression, from “normal” depressed to wacky depressed and finally so depressed he is off every chart known to man.

“That last level is very hard to grasp,” Burkmier said.

Don, Shawn Frambach’s character, is the follower, completing the trio.

“He got bored [with his longtime girlfriend] after a while and tries to find his place in life,” Frambach said. “He wises up and makes a life for himself.”

Various other cast members revolve around these three, like Maggie, a woman Jack has an affair with, and Karen, one of Phil’s longed-for women.

“We have big parts in the guys’ lives, but not in the play,” said Marshelle Phillips, who plays Karen.

Many of the actors were pushed in some way or another to develop their roles in the play.

Katie Hill plays Maggie, who is drunk or stoned in all her scenes, something Hill said she has never been.

Phillips said she had to completely reverse her natural assurance and become an insecure, gullible woman.

Clawson said he had never played a character while at TCC that was this close to his age.

Frambach had a more real-life problem. He joined the cast about two weeks late and was behind on blocking and memorizing lines.

Having the audience on stage will be a change for cast members, but one Phillips is looking forward to.

“It’s like they are sneaking in and peeking through the window,” she said.

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