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Wednesday, January 23,2013

The physicist, the King and the son of God

Cast for offbeat family comedy combines MSU students and professional actors

by Dylan Sowle
A heartfelt comedy about a family recovering from the aftermath of 9/11, with some help from Stephen Hawking, an Elvis impersonator and Jesus. This brief overview alone is enough to make “End Days,” the upcoming production at the Williamston Theatre, strikingly unique.

The story revolves around the members of the Stein family who have fled New York City for the suburbs after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Sylvia, the mother, has developed a close friendship with Jesus; Rachel, the goth teenage daughter, receives spiritual guidance from Hawking; and her father hasnīt changed his clothes in years and remains rooted in his chair.

Joining the Williamston Theatre for this production are three MSU theater students. The theater has maintained a formal relationship with the university since 2007, setting aside a show each year for a collaboration. This mutually beneficial relationship has given students a chance at professional experience as actors, stage assistants and other positions.

“The students gain experience and understanding for after school, and we get great young actors,” Caselli said. “And they have such a great energy thatīs really refreshing.”

“End Days” was specifically chosen because of the many roles fit for younger actors. The students compose the younger half of the cast, as well as the bizarre, yet fully intentional double casting of Andrew Head as Jesus and Stephen Hawking. Caselli said that despite its darker backstory, the heart of this play is about coexistence.

“End Days”
Williamston Theatre
Jan. 24-Feb. 24
8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 3 p.m. Saturdays (starting Feb. 2); 2 p.m. Sundays
Pay-what-you-can Jan. 24; $15 preview performances January 25- 31
Regular pricing begins Feb. 1: $20 Thursdays/Friday-Saturday evenings; $22 Saturday-Sunday matinees/$10 students/$2 senior discount
122 S. Putnam St.
Williamston
(517) 655-7469
williamstontheatre.com

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