News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 31, 2012

Community Theatre stages An Evening of One Acts in Oakley Theatre

Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Community Theatre of Terre Haute will present An Evening of One Acts by Jason Miller in the Oakley Theatre, the smaller setting inside their home at 1431 S. 25th St. The theater in the round seats 75 people. Opening night is at 8 p.m. today, followed by performances at the same time on Friday and Saturday.

The three one-act plays are “Lou Gehrig Did Not Die of Cancer,” “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie” and “Circus Lady.” Director William Carper explains that a theme of hope runs through all three one-act plays.

In “Lou Gehrig Did Not Die of Cancer,” Victor Spinelli (Brendan Kearns) is a frustrated athlete who now works for his domineering father, so he finds his greatest satisfaction in coaching a little league baseball team. His relationship with his wife (Jude Ciancone), who is preoccupied with acting in amateur theater, is growing cool. He finds a kindred spirit in the mother of one of his team members (Gina Virgilio), who comes by to ask that Victor show more concern for her bench-warmer son. As confidences are exchanged, a new and promising liaison forms between two people who have known bitterness and failure.

Mike Sanders and Pam Virgilio play The Old Man and The Old Woman in “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie.” The setting for this act is a doctor’s office waiting room. Two people who formerly did not know each other are waiting for appointments, but they are also both just biding their time until death. While they spurn each other at first, soon a friendship begins to form as they find the concern for another they’ve been desperately missing in their lives.

Denise Collins plays Marie, an obese woman living in squalor in “Circus Lady.” Her son, John (Zach Merritt), plans to move out and she is afraid of living alone because of a supposed rapist terrorizing her apartment building. When she’s visited by a welfare agent (Trevor Ramsey), she shares her past and tries to explain how she ended up in the state of her current existence. Her sister, Ruth (Sherri Eslinger), plays another link to the outside world. The audience sees Marie begin to take responsibility for her situation.

Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was also nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Father Damien in the 1973 film The Exorcist.

Tickets for An Evening of One Acts are $7. Ticket office hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and one hour before each performance. Call (812) 232-7172 or visit for more information.