Arts Society & Culture

Farce meets morning talk TV in University Theatre’s ‘Must Go On’

University Theatre - Must Go On 2013 - promo poster-v.poster
Must Go On is a comedy written and directed by John Kundert-Gibbs

Athens, Ga. – As part of its commitment to producing original work, the University of Georgia Theatre will present the world premiere of “Must Go On,” a comedy written and directed by John Kundert-Gibbs, an associate professor in the department of theatre and film studies. The homage to morning talk shows will feature a combination of onstage theatre and live television broadcast Feb. 21-23 and Feb. 27 to March 2 at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building’s Cellar Theatre, with a matinee performance March 3 at 2:30 p.m.

The comedy takes place on the day that everyone learns “Taste of the Morning,” a fictional Atlanta-based live talk show, has been cancelled. While the cast and crew try to keep up the illusion of calm on screen, things backstage start going wrong. As the various guests on the show—including a high school dance troupe and a possum trainer—get drawn in, chaos threatens to overwhelm the action in front of the cameras as well.

“The production is to some extent a requiem to local morning television, given the rising cost of local television,” Kundert-Gibbs said. “‘Taste of the Morning’ is a composite of a number of local morning news and gossip programs around the country, with a flair—and a desperation—all its own.”

Kundert-Gibbs will stage “Must Go On” in two spaces separated by approximately 50 feet and connected with audio and video links.

“The show’s ‘on-air’ and studio action unfolds for the audience by way of a constant large monitor feed,” he explained, “while the theatre’s stage serves as the ‘Taste of the Morning’ greenroom. Via video hookup, the audience will see both the back stage madness as well as what’s being broadcast on TV, revealing the often chaotic, often humorous antics that go into producing a daily television show.”

Tickets for “Must Go On” are $16 for the general public and $12 for students. They can be purchased at http://www.drama.uga.edu/box-office, by phone at 706/542-4400, in person at the Performing Arts Center box office or at the door before the show.

The “Must Go On” cast members are Jessica Kovalski, a master of fine arts in performance student from Mentor, Ohio, as Gwen Jones; Ben Davis, a senior theatre and psychology double-major from Buford, as Brick Russell; Suzanne Zoller, a junior theatre major from Gainesville, as Brooke Mueller; Cole Earnest, a junior theatre and mass media arts double-major from Cumming, as Bill Lefleur; Nathan Cowling, a senior theatre major from Alpharetta, as Sam Harris; Vallea E. Woodbury, a master of fine arts in performance student from New York, N.Y., as Phyllis Spain; Abby Holland, a sophomore theatre major from Marietta, as Ruby Fields; Matt Saul, a senior theatre major from Kennesaw, as Willy Smalls; Owen Mims, a senior anthropology and theatre double-major from McDonough, as Phil Spain; Sarah Newby-Halicks, a senior theatre and Spanish major from Peachtree City, as Alex Molloy; Olivia McCurley, a senior theatre major and sociology minor from Marietta, as Susan Park; Ashley Nunnelly, a senior theatre major from Norcross, as Eustace Gurney; Victoria Vasquez, a junior theatre and English double-major from Cumming, as Emma Spencer; and Hannah Klevesahl, a sophomore theatre and physics double-major from Cartersville, as Io Zalenka.

For more information on the UGA Department of Theatre and Film Studies, see www.drama.uga.edu.