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TWU Drama To Stage 'Nuts' At Courthouse

9/24/04


DENTON —The audience will become part of the courtroom drama as the Texas Woman’s University theatre department opens its 2004-05 season with “Nuts,” Oct. 7-10 in the Denton County Courthouse on the Square, 111 W. Hickory St.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 through Saturday, Oct. 9, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10. Admission is free, and no tickets are necessary. For information, call (940) 898-2020.

“It’s a very intimate environment,” said Jeff Winkler, a TWU graduate student directing the play. “It will feel as though you’re watching an actual trial.” The audience at times will participate in the production, standing when the bailiff calls “All rise” as the judge enters the room. It’s part of the dinner theatre aspect Winkler wants to bring to the production.

Due to limited access for rehearsals, the entire courtroom — from the width of the room to the height of the judge’s bench — had to be measured and recreated on the TWU campus. Still, Winkler said the crew and the cast — many of whom are first-time performers — are enthusiastic about the play and the venue.

“Nuts” is Tom Topor’s story of a competency hearing for Claudia, a high-priced call girl who claims she killed a client in self-defense. Her conventional upper-middle-class parents want to have her declared incompetent to stand trial and be committed to an asylum “for her own good.”

Barbra Streisand brought the play to the movie screen in 1987, and Winkler said the movie was quite different from the play. He’s making his own changes to TWU’s production, updating the time to present day and moving the setting from New York to Texas.

The role of Claudia is being played by Lindsay Huntoon of Plano. Claudia’s attorney, Aaron Levinsky, is portrayed by Jaymes Gregory of Haltom City. Other cast members include Jeff Kaplan of Denton as Claudia’s stepfather; Kari Schouveller of Wichita Falls as Helen Rosenthal; Lenora Quickley of Richardson as Officer Harriet Haggerty; Thomas R. Stratton of Krum as Franklin MacMillan; and Jenny Lynn Beckman of Pasadena as the court recorder.

Crew members include Winkler of Alma, Kan., director; Frances Chatel Seman of McKinney, stage manager; Maranda Mang of Hewitt, costumes; and Megan Welch of Fort Worth, props.

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For Further Information Contact:
Karen Treat
Senior Copywriter
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: ktreat@twu.edu