July 21, 2024

CEU Theatre’s final production of year begins this week


College of Eastern Utah’s final production of the year, “To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday” opens tonight in the Geary Theatre, running from April 7 to 12, with no Sunday showing. Using theatre in the round, the show takes place on the stage with the audience members seated surrounding the actors, offering a more intimate view of the play.
Written by Michael Brady, the play tells a poignant story of a man trying to come to terms with the death of his wife.
On the second anniversary of Gillian’s death, which is also her birthday, her family gathers to remember her and help her husband David back into life. Although the subject matter seems heavy, there is plenty of humor and strong family relationships which prove how important family is during difficult times, said CEU director Dr. Corey Ewan.
The cast includes alumni and high school talent. Leading the cast is Samuel Bailey playing David, the grieving husband. His past work includes The Miser and as Banjo in The Man Who Came to Dinner. Krista Viau, a senior from Carbon High is playing his daughter Rachel. Amy Anderson, who was last seen in The Miser, and Bo Brady from The Cripple of Inishmaan are playing Gillian’s sister and her brother-in-law. These characters provide some of the humor and heartfelt concern.
Kim Jenks, Miss Carbon County, is playing the “indispensable friend” Cyndi, and Diana Halford, in her final performance for CEU is playing weekend guest, Kevin. Rounding out the cast is newcomer Kristin Kimber, playing Gillian.
The actors are excited about the show and are solidly committed to making this a memorable theatrical event. “Every actor in this production has been a joy to work with and they are really growing as actors. They are developing stronger instincts and are doing some of their best work to date.”
Ewan is thrilled with the opportunity to bring this production to life. “I read this play many years ago and loved it. I was looking for something a little different and picked this up again. I was immediately captivated and wanted to do this show. Having experienced a loss like this made me a bit more aware of the pain and love that surround these characters.
“The staging for this production will be far different than we have experienced in a while. We are presenting this play on the stage with the audience around the action. They will actually sit on the stage feet away from the actors.”
Ewan felt, “the play was emotionally intimate and needed to have the audience closer to help increase the feeling of ‘being there’.” This will of necessity cut down the number of seats available. We anticipate that there will be plenty of seating for those who have attended our productions in the past; however it might be wise to get to the box office early.
The box office opens at 7 p.m. each night of the performance. Tickets for CEU students are $2, faculty and staff $3 and general admission $7.