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19 June 2008

Secrets, Scandals and the South: JSU Production of The Foreigner Opens Tonight

By Erica Long
Special to the Star

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Have you ever felt like a stranger in a place you didn't belong? Perhaps you just didn't speak the language? Well, you should feel right at home as Jacksonville State University's drama department presents "The Foreigner."

Charlie Baker and Froggy LeSueur are two Englishmen headed to a Georgia fishing lodge for a vacation. Froggy is a guest instructor for the Army and good friends with Charlie, who needs this vacation to help cope with the stress of a dying wife back home.

"Charlie is very shy, not very sociable and nervous around crowds," said Chad Miller, who plays Charlie. "After Froggy (played by Chris Whetstone) encourages him to become 'the foreigner' to avoid much attention, he accepts and creates his own language since he is, in actuality foreign to those in Georgia."

This is where the fun begins. Since the other guests at the lodge believe Charlie doesn't understand English, they unsuspectingly spill their secrets to his 'foreign' ears, such as a plot to buy the lodge from the elderly Betty Meeks and turn it into a meeting place for the Ku Klux Klan.

"(The play) makes fun of narrow-minded situations that include color and ethics, or every other situation that people poke fun at, even the poor," said Jerry Ballew, who plays Owen Musser, a racist antagonist in the play. "This is really a play that should help you look at people for who they are. It's good for morale, shows how stupid racism can be and the problems that can arise when people don't look within themselves and have an open mind."

"The Foreigner" takes off as what Denise Bradbury-Shaw, who plays lodge owner Meeks, describes as "Tight, from beginning to end so make sure you pay close attention before you miss something. There are not a lot of scene changes, and the characters drive the plot."

"The Foreigner" opens tonight at the Ernest Stone Performing Arts Center on the JSU campus.

The Foreigner

What: JSU drama department comedy
When: Tonight, Friday, Saturday 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
Where: Ernest Stone Performing Arts Center, Jacksonville
How much: $9 adults, $7 seniors and JSU personnel, $5 students and military
Contact: 782-5648

See story at The Anniston Star's website: .

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