CSU Theatre to Stage Dark Comedy 'The Cripple of Inishmaan'

COLUMBUS, Ga. - A collection of eccentric characters who 'talk to stones, drink all day and are obsessed with throwing eggs' are part of the backdrop for the dark comedy 'The Cripple of Inishmaan,' running Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 12-15 and Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20-21, in the CSU Theatre on the Park Studio.

Written by Martin McDonagh in the tradition of Irish storytelling, the plot's setting is a remote island in 1934 off the coast of Ireland where a Hollywood producer has arrived to make a film, drawing 'Cripple Billy' (Eddie Zaboroskie) from the nearby town of Inishmaan to vie for a role.

Billy's disfigurement, however, causes more than just physical grief as the town's diverse and eccentric citizens begin stirring up trouble.

'Eddie has been working with the physical impediment of 'Cripple Billy' for over two months,' said Director Larry McDonald, referring to his lead actor's preparation.

McDonald, an assistant professor of theatre, said the play is full of Irish eccentricity written not only to provide laughs. 'It's a dark comedy, absolutely,' he said. 'Dark comedies are rooted in pain, and that is evident in this show. All the characters are obsessed with how the rest of the world views them and their country. So while their individual eccentricities may be comical, it is really through their inability to recognize their own flaws that we find humor.'

Thus, 'Cripple Billy' sees Hollywood as an opportunity to escape the emotional burdens that weigh him down. 'What I appreciate most is how the playwright truly captured the spirit of the Irish and that not only is it extremely funny, but it's also a deeply moving story as well,' said McDonald. 'As much as we laugh at these people, we are also able recognize their humanity and struggle.'

Curtain times for 'The Cripple of Inishmaan' are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, plus 2 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $15; $13 for seniors, children, active military and CSU alumni; and free for CSU faculty and staff (limit two) and students (limit one). Contact the box office at 706-507-8444. For more information, call 706-507-8415.

Cast (all CSU students)
• Kate – Kimberly Belflower
• Eileen – Caroline Thrasher
• Johnny Pateen Mike – Nicholas Wolfe
• Billy – Eddie Zaboroskie
• Bartley – Caleb Lawton
• Helen – Kori Jackson
• BabbyBobby – Nicholas Crawley
• Doctor – Kyle Phillips
• Mammy – Lena Thomas
• Male Understudy – Cory Jarrell
• Female Understudy – Samantha Mongogna

Production Crew
• Stage Manager – Brian Elston (student)
• Costume Designer – Steve Graver (associate professor)
• Lighting - Krystal Kennell (assistant professor)
• Set - Christopher North (guest artist from Brown University)
• Student Assistant Director - Megan Noelle Smith