Theatre Northeast, the student theater organization of Northeast Texas Community College, will kick off its 2016-2017 season with four performances of The Boys Next Door by Tom Griffin. This marks a milestone year for Theatre Northeast as it celebrates 25 years in the Whatley Center for the Performing Arts. This will also be the first time Theatre Northeast is under the leadership of its new director, Martin Holden.
The Boys Next Door will be held October 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. and October 30 at 2:05 p.m. This show was the first one performed by Theatre Northeast on the stage of the Whatley Center back when it opened in 1991.
“This is a big year for Theatre Northeast. Not only are we celebrating 25 years in our wonderful performing arts facility, but this is the first time the group will perform under new direction,” Holden said. “I am so honored to follow in the footsteps of Douglas Hoppock, who led Theatre Northeast since the college began. As an alumni myself, he inspired me in countless ways and I look forward to working hard to live up to his legacy.”
The Boys Next Door is set in a communal residence in East Texas where four mentally handicapped men live under the supervision of an earnest, but increasingly “burned out” young social worker named Jack.
The “Boys” are- Norman, who takes great pride in the huge bundle of keys that dangles from his waist; Lucien P. Smith, a 50 year old man with the mind of a five-year-old who imagines that he is able to read; Arnold, the ringleader of the group, a hyperactive, compulsive chatterer and Barry, a schizophrenic who fantasizes that he’s a golf pro.
Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, are moments of great poignancy when we are reminded that the handicapped, like the rest of us, want only to find some meaning and purpose in life.
“I am very pleased with the hard work and dedication Theatre Northeast members have put into preparing for this show. We have assembled a talented cast and I hope you will come out to enjoy the result of their efforts,” Holden said.
The Boys Next Door cast and crew includes: Aaron Franks, David Hullett, Benjamin Ruland, Alyssa Saunders, Chad Kennedy and Elizabeth Taraba, all of Pittsburg; Francisco Arroyo of Mount Pleasant, Nathan Johnson of Mount Vernon, Celina Singer of Immensee, Switzerland and Hannah Dove of Atlanta.
The performance will be held on the main stage of the Whatley Center and reservations are not required. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students 17 and under, $5 for NTCC Faculty and Staff, and free for NTCC students with ID. Due to language and adult subject matter, this play is not intended for children under 13 years old.