September 08, 2016

Special production of ‘Vigils’ set for Sept. 15-18

by Vincent Rhomberg

Hilarious and heartbreaking, “Vigils” comes to the C.H. Moe Theater as a special production. 

The play runs Sept. 15-18, with performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. 

“Vigils,” written by Noah Haidle, explores the difficulty of letting go. A widow, unable to move on from her grief, has trapped the soul and body of her deceased husband, a firefighter killed in an heroic act, and won’t let him go. When a wooer arrives, the widow must decide between the past she knows and a possible future.

“I read this play years ago and it has haunted me since,” graduate student Bobbi Masters, the play’s director, said. “It is a simple story of loss, but the playwright weaves the narrative in a way that is funny and poignant. He balances the two aspects by looking at the action from the various perspectives of the different characters. That distorts the audience’s view and can be hilarious. In one scene, a date between the widow and wooer is retold by the deceased husband’s soul. His version, misunderstood, is nonsensical and quite funny.”

The cast of this quirky and life affirming play includes Jasmine Chameis as the widow. The deceased husband is played by two actors, Christian Boswell as Soul, and Tanner Garren as Body. Colin Whitworth is Wooer and Nevaeh Wright, making her SIU theater debut, is Child.

Audrey Foland designed the set, Deirdre Rose, the costumes and Andrew Beyke the lighting. Tyler Wyvell designed the sound.

“I think audiences will connect to the story,” Masters said. “We have all mourned something in our lives – a break-up, the death of a family member or a pet. In this play we get to laugh even at the things which touch us most intensely.”

Tickets are $18 for adults and $6 for students. All tickets are general admission, and can be purchased in person Monday-Friday at the McLeod Theater Box Office, noon-4:30 p.m., at the SIU Arena box office, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., by phone at 618/453-6000 or online through a new ticketing system, at Tickets are also available one hour before the performance at the McLeod Theater box office. 

Due to extremely limited seating, advance purchase is recommended. The show contains some mature themes. Please note there is absolutely no late seating for this production. Individuals with disabilities are welcomed and may call 618/453-5738 to request accommodations.