Comic play ‘Fuddy Meers’ opens Feb. 9 at Elizabethtown College
Three months of hard work is coming to fruition as the cast of Elizabethtown College’s “Fuddy Meers” prepares to open Thursday, Feb. 9. “‘Fuddy Meers’ is a funny yet harrowing ride through a day in the life of an amnesiac as she puts together the pieces of her fractured life,” said Richard Wolf-Spencer, director and associate professor of theatre at E-town. Wolf-Spencer has been with the College’s Fine and Performing Arts – Theatre and Dance Division since fall 2010.
Written by David Lindsay-Abaire while a student at The Juilliard School in the 1990s, “Fuddy Meers” premiered off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1999.
E-town’s play selection committee picked this comedy for its “grand mix of humor and drama,” said Connor Burke, a senior majoring in theatre. Burke plays the “Limping Man” in the show and purposely chose not to elaborate on his role in order to prevent spoilers. Director Wolf-Spencer believes “Fuddy” will relate to everyone in the audience in some way, making it a good choice for E-town to perform.
Told from the perspective of an amnesiac named Claire, “Fuddy Meers” follows a day in her life. “Claire literally forgets everything each time she falls asleep,” said Wolf-Spencer. “She, therefore, begins each new day completely fresh.”
People are going to go on an emotional roller coaster.”
As a member of the selection committee, Burke grew interested in “Fuddy Meers” after he read the script and noticed how every part “seemed like quite the acting challenge.” Wolf-Spencer agreed and noted that physicality in certain characters proved to be a challenge.
“This isn’t like most plays,” said Burke. “There are lessons to be learned, twists, turns and a unique perspective. That’s why we wanted to perform it.”
Claire is played by Emily Seratch, a sophomore majoring in international business. She is nervous for her first performance as a lead character, but she is adamant about her passion for opening night.
“I love when the lights turn on and I’m transported to a different place,” said Seratch. “I just live for that moment. I can’t wait to do it for real.”
Seratch said the show will keep everyone on their toes. With many twists and huge reveals in the show, “people are going to go on an emotional roller coaster,” said Seratch.
Hannah Paymer, a first-year student majoring in occupational therapy, also is making her first appearance in an E-town production. Although she did not expect to get a part, she plays the role of Heidi.
“I wanted to see how auditions work at the College,” said Paymer. “I was there purely to see the process because I thought I had no chance of getting into the show. Here we are.” Paymer is nervous about remembering her lines, but she thinks there are some lessons to be learned from “Fuddy,” noting that she, personally, learned that some things are better remembered, and others are better forgotten.
Seratch thinks the audience has something special to learn from her character, Claire: to stand up for what you believe in.
“From Claire’s perspective, I would say the one thing she wants everyone to learn is there is no time like the present,” said Seratch. “Her life changes in a matter of minutes and, in the end, she learns to stand up for herself. [Claire] would want people to walk away [from the show] feeling empowered and eager to stand up for themselves because you never know if tomorrow will come.”
Hoping the audience finds “Fuddy Meers” thought-provoking, Wolf-Spencer posed a question to those who attend the show: “How do you think you might approach everyday life if you were to begin each day with a blank slate: no memories or known attachments?” He encourages audience members to attend to help determine their answer.
See “Fuddy Meers” at Elizabethtown College’s Tempest Theatre located in the Baugher Student Center. The show is on stage at 8 p.m. Thursday Feb. 9 through Saturday, Feb. 11; Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Tickets are $7 and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 717-361-1170.
~ E-town NOW guest writer is Jerica Shuck — Shuck is a junior studying English professional writing and communications. She is involved in the College’s Honors Program, as well as the campus improvisation comedy group, Mad Cow. Shuck is working toward attending law school after graduation but thinks she should really focus on graduating first.