McNeese State University Theatre Bayou Players will present “An Evening of Shel Silverstein” at 7:30 p.m. June 23-25, with a 2 p.m. matinee June 26 in the Shearman Fine Arts Theatre.
Silverstein was a multi-faced artist – a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter – with popular successes in all of those areas. He died in 1999.
He drew his first cartoons for the adult readers of Pacific Stars and Stripes when he was a G.I. in Japan and Korea in the 1950s and would also go on to draw cartoons for magazines such as Look, Sports Illustrated and Playboy. He also learned to play the guitar and to write songs, a talent that would later produce such hits as “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash and “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” for Dr. Hook. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1991 for the song, “I’m Checking Out,” written for the 1990 Mike Nichols film, “Postcards from the Edge.”
Silverstein was also a best-selling author of children’s books, including “Falling Up,” “The Missing Place,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “A Light in the Attic” and most enduring of all, “The Giving Tree.” In 1984, he won a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”
However, this show will introduce the audience to the darkly comic world of Silverstein, according to Joy Pace, coordinator of McNeese theatre. “This is truly an adult evening with no one under 17 admitted.” Childcare will be available.
“Silverstein wrote a collection of short sketches,” said Pace. “ The audience will be introduced to 10 imaginative plays that range widely in content, but the style is unmistakable.”
Cast members include Levi Arens, Shamberly Edgerton, William Lormand, Patrick Kelly. Lindsey Mainer, Charles McNeely, Monica Mere, Jesse Merrill, Chuck Morris, Pace, Chris Reeves, Jonathon Richards, Wesley Saucier, Jessa Theriot and Kaamilya William.
The show is directed by Theriot, with assistant directors, Lormand and Gabriel Brown. Stage manager is Kevin Delaney and light designer is Norman McKnight. Technical director is Edgerton.
Ticket prices are $10 for adults, and $5 for McNeese faculty/staff and senior citizens, and free for McNeese students’ with a current ID. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information, call (337) 475-5042.
Persons requesting accommodations in accordance with the ADA should contact the Office of the ADA Coordinator at least 72 hours before the event. Additional information is available from: the Office of the ADA Coordinator, Smith Hall, Room 127; Voice: (337) 475-5428; Fax: (337) 475-5960; TDD/TTY, Hearing Impaired: (337) 562-4227; or firstname.lastname@example.org.