The Penn State Berks Theatre Department will present "Biloxi Blues," the second play in a trilogy written by Neil Simon, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 11 through Saturday, April 14, in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for veterans and Penn State students, staff and faculty; $10 for general admission, and free for area high school students.
Described as a semi-autobiographical play, "Biloxi Blues" is told through the perspective of 18-year-old Eugene Morris Jerome from Brooklyn, who is drafted into the United States Army during World War II and is stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. There he meets a diverse group of soldiers, including the gentle and intelligent Arnold Epstein, the play's central figure, who is engaged in a power struggle with middle-aged, hard-drinking platoon leader Sergeant Merwin J. Toomey.
"Biloxi Blues" is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound. The play won the Tony Award for Best Play.
Penn State Berks senior theater major Taylor Clark Housel will direct the production. The cast includes sophomore engineering major Daniel Jankauskas as Eugene Morris Jerome, sophomore theater major Brandon Reimer as Arnold Epstein, and first-year student Thomas Heiler as Sgt. Merwin J. Toomey. Other cast members include current students Christopher Adams, Evan Barton, Caleb Cleck, Tessa Eberlein and Katelyn Bennett and former student Charles Carr.
Daniel Harper will serve as stage manager and Kayla Kasmara will serve as deck chief. Andrew Busy will handle lighting design and first-year electro-mechanical engineering technology major Patryk Smith will handle sound design,
The Penn State Berks bachelor of arts in theater provides students with a solid foundation to become successful theatre artists and effective theatre educators. The degree program also trains students in the skills to become effective communicators and professional program managers.
For more information, contact Jim Brown, program coordinator for theater, at 610-396-6419 or via email at [email protected].