by Lorie Lewis Ham
This weekend The Bus Stop opens in Hanford presented by the Kings Players. KRL chatted with the show’s director Lindsey Surratt about the show.
KRL: What is the basic plot of this show?
Lindsey: The play is set in a diner about 25 miles west of Kansas City in early March 1955. A freak snowstorm has halted the progress of the bus, and the eight characters (five on the bus) have a weather-enforced layover in the diner from approximately 1 to 5 a.m. Romantic or quasi-romantic relationships ensue between Grace and Carl, Professor Lyman and Elma and Cherie and Bo. Virgil and Will are the older authority figures outside the relationships.
KRL: Who wrote it?
Lindsey: William Inge.
KRL: How big is the cast?
Lindsey: There are eight cast members.
KRL: Why did you want to direct it?
Lindsey: This play was actually handed over to me. My friend Henry Gonzales originally picked out this play to direct but when school conflicts arose, he asked me to take over. However as I soon as I read this play I knew I wanted to be apart of it as these characters are iconic and the play holds such heart.
KRL: What is the hardest part of directing this show?
Lindsey: This being my first directing experience I was treading through new waters and boy did I have to tread. My two leads, Bo and Cherie had to be replaced three weeks into the show! Which meant that I had a huge gap between my cast; the majority who knew the blocking, lines (mostly) and were finally starting to relate to their characters. Then my two leads who had not read the script, did not know the blocking and missed out on the character building we did in the beginning. However hard it was though, my entire cast pulled through and it turned out be a great move for the show.
KRL: The best and funnest part of directing this show?
Lindsey: The best and funnest part was one of the first nights we actually had an entire cast and rehearsed the entire show that night. Seeing it come together was an amazing experience for me. (That and playing Bo on the nights he was absent).
KRL: When does it run?
Lindsey: The show runs Nov. 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15. Twelve shows in total. Friday and Saturday Evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Matinees at 2:00 p.m.
KRL: Do you know why this show was picked by Kings Players?
Lindsey: This show was picked because of its name value. Most have heard of Bus Stop because Marilyn Monroe starred in its movie adaptation. I haven’t seen the movie myself because as a rule I never see movie companions when in a production but she made the role Cherie iconic and in turn the story itself. I think the Kings Players knew that Bus Stop was a smart choice because many are already familiar with the story.
KRL: Who is in the cast?
Lindsey: Elma Duckworth- Stephanie Teixeira Grace Hoyland- Mary Catherine Payden Will Masters- John C. Rabe Cherie- Jacklynn Clayton Carl- David Beeman Dr. Gerald Lyman- Sandy Brown Virgil Blessing- Ron. W. Bates (The period after Ron is on purpose) Bo Decker- Dustin Wood.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Lindsey: I would like to add that to those who aren’t familiar with the story to come out anyway. This story talk about all the stages love and friendship have to offer and will make you giggle along the way. It’s a timeless tale and one that you would regret missing.
The Bus Stop plays at the Temple Theatre, 514 E. Visalia Street in Hanford. For Tickets Call 559-584-7241.
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