On Thursday, Oct. 5 and running through Oct. 14, Utah State University Eastern Theatre Department opens its doors to its fall semester production of “Catch Me if You Can”, a psychological thriller and comedy. It is authored by Robert Thomas, and adapted its French Version by Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert. This is the first installment of spotlight interviews showcasing the actors in the production.
The production highlights local actor Ryker Childs, who is performing in the role of Inspector Levine. Childs was born and raised in Price, Utah, and graduated in 2021 from Carbon High School. His favorite hobbies include theatre, running, soccer, hiking and anything out-of-doors.
“It was affordable and it close to home,” Childs said about choosing Eastern. “I had heard good things about the theatre program here. So, that all helped me to choose where I wanted to go.”
Childs hopes to continue the theatre experiences he had with his involvement with four-high school productions by majoring in theatre arts at USU Eastern. He plans to decide where to go from here in a year or two.
“I had been in the two previous productions: ‘Sherwood; The Adventures of Robin Hood’ and ‘It Runs in the Family,'” he said, talking about his decision to join “Catch Me if You Can.” “They were both phenomenal experiences. I just loved every second that I got to work with Corey [Ewan, associate professor in the theatre department] and all of the other cast members.”
Childs adores his classmates and the friends he’s made at Eastern.
“I would say it’s definitely a small theatre group. But, with it being small, I’ve noticed that all are very close and are really good friends with each other. And we have good connections of relationships with our professors, both Brent [Innes, associate professor in the theatre department] and Corey. Even though it’s really small, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” he said.
However, transition from the last play to the current hasn’t been easy. He said, “coming off of doing runs with “All in the Family”–and with it being a farce–and yelling and being really out there and everything, we’re been trying to tone that back and make a regular production again that is not a farce. It’s been really hard to find the correct energy level for the show.”
That all that being said, Childs is confident they can overcome the hurdles. “We’ve got a lot of great talent within this production. I think it’s going to be one of the best shows we’ve done once we are ready to perform it. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of great twists and you never know that is going to happen. And we’ve all worked very hard on it, and I don’t think we’re going to disappoint anybody.”
So, set a day on your calendar to come out and watch “Catch Me if you Can”, USU Eastern’s fall theatre production, opening Oct. 5-Oct. 14 in the Peterson Black Box theatre in the CIB building at USU Eastern Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door. Eastern students’ admission is covered by their activity fee. Childs states, you won’t be disappointed.