By Carly Thompson
Editor In Chief

The Hutchinson Community College Theatre Department will perform “The Boys Next Door.” “The Boys Next Door” is a story about four men, each with different mental disabilities, living together.

Shane Dawson, Production Manager, will be taking the director’s role for this production.

“The four ‘guys’ work at navigating the intricacies of social situations, work, love, chores, and getting along with each other, while Jack (their social worker) tries to keep some semblance of balance in his own life,” Dawson said.

However, the show was not originally scheduled for this spring. A musical called “The Drunkard” was previously in the works. Due to scheduling conflicts and actors’ availability, the show was canceled.

Dawson volunteered to direct “The Boys Next Door” because he felt it was important to have a show this semester and he was already familiar with the production technicalities. He also chose it because he feels that the storyline tells an important message – looking at life from other people’s perspectives.

Behind the scenes, preparation for the set is in the works. Sound design and prop construction are underway. The Theatre Practicum class and student workers have been constructing set pieces for the different scenes. These include the apartment, movie theater, the state senate, and community center. The Lighting Design for Stage and TV class have been working on hanging and focusing the lights for the lighting design.

The cast has two-hour rehearsals during the week and plenty of extra work on their own time. Some of the cast members are involved with set constructions and lighting as well. The show has 12 roles that will be covered by 10 actors.

Carolyn Thompson, a Kingman sophomore, is playing the role of Arnold Wiggins. Thompson describes her character as anxious, always planning ahead, and easily upset if things do not go as planned.

“My favorite aspect of the show is how dimensional it is,” Thompson said. “One moment you’re crying from laughing and the next moment you’re crying from a heartfelt scene … it’s got a bit of everything for everybody.”

Her character has an anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which she has done extensive research on.

Thompson’s favorite part of theater is being able to connect with the audience and the role she is playing.

“Much like how the boys in the play act as a family, I feel like all of us are our own ‘on set’ family now,” Thompson said.

The production will be Friday through Sunday at the Stringer Fine Arts Center. Friday and Saturday showtimes will be at 7 p.m. and Sunday will be at 2 p.m.

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