Marjorie Lyons Playhouse to Present Lonely Planet beginning Nov. 4

Contact: Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 318-869-5242

SHREVEPORT, LA -- The theatre department at Centenary College will open Lonely Planet by Steven Dietz for a seven-performance run beginning Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. The play is directed by Robert Buseick, chairman of the Department of Theatre/Speech/Dance.

Other performances at 8 p.m. will be on Nov. 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13, with a 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14. An additional performance will be presented on Friday, Nov. 19 at 8:15 p.m. as part of the Louisiana College Theatre Festival being held at the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse.

On Wednesday, Nov. 3, there will be a 7 p.m. preview performance with tickets priced at $5. Regular ticket prices are $13 for adults; $11 for senior citizens; $8 for students and $5 for children 12 and under.

Patric McWilliams will play Jody and Logan Sledge will play Carl in this two-character comedy/drama. McWilliams, an adjunct professor at Centenary and department costume designer, has appeared recently in MLP productions of Grand Hotel, Angels in America, Merrily We Roll Along, Funny Girl, Bent, On the Twentieth Century, I Hate Hamlet, Royal Family and Into the Woods.

His other credits include costuming all the productions for the past 20 years at Centenary and he has won two Times Drama Awards for his direction of Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Funny Girl. He has received more TDA nominations and won more than any other actor in the area. He has won eight acting TDA's for his performances in The Visit, Applause, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, I Hate Hamlet, Angels in America, On the 20th Century, Bent and Grand Hotel. He will next co-direct Tony Tunes and How I Learned to Drive. He will also play Captain Hook in the April production of Peter Pan at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse.

Logan Sledge is a senior theatre major at Centenary where he was last seen in this season's opener of Coastal Disturbances. His other credits include Bent, subUrbia, Assassins, Period of Adjustment, Oliver! Little Women, Angels in America, God's Country, Funny Girl, Merrily We Roll Along, Lost in Yonkers, Grand Hotel, Dracula, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Blood Brothers, The Tempest, A Perfect Ganesh, and 42nd Street. He has received five TDA nominations for Dracula, Period of Adjustment, Lost in Yonkers, Blood Brothers and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. He won a Best Actor Times Drama Award for his performance of Louis in Angels in America, and a Best Supporting TDA Award for his performance as Ariel in The Tempest.

Set and lights for Lonely Planet are designed by Don Hooper and costumes by McWilliams. Ken Scruggs is the sound designer. Josh Porter is assistant to the director and stage manager. Vanessa Keller is property master.

Director Buseick has won 14 Times Drama Awards for his direction of local productions. His most recent one was for the direction of Grand Hotel.

Winner of Pen USA West Award in Drama and selected as one of the best Off-Broadway plays of 1995, Lonely Planet is a compassionate comedy/drama that tells the story of friendship and fear in the age of AIDS. Jody is an agoraphobic owner of a map store who refuses to leave his business and venture into the outside world.

His best friend, Carl, is a jack-of-all-trades who does everything from writing for tabloids to restoring famous paintings to replacing auto glass. Carl discusses the distorted world of maps, creates fictitious stories for his tabloid, and fills the shop with chairs. Jody reads Ionesco, explains his evolution to "map-geek," and tries to recall all the most important moments, objects and places in his life.

Through his clever language, humor and absurdity (reminiscent of Ionesco and Beckett), Dietz's work resonates with the importance of lasting friendship. Deitz says it best: "We are, each of us, a living testament to our friends' compassion and tolerance, humor and wisdom, patience and grit. Friendship, not technology, is the only thing capable of showing us the enormity of the world."

The Marjorie Lyons Playhouse box office for Lonely Planet will open from 12 noon to 4 p.m. daily beginning on October 28 and tickets may be reserved by calling 869-5242 during those hours.