We all know that one guy. The socially awkward friend who overstays his welcome and can’t seem to take a hint. But what if that guy is not only a war hero, but saved your life in combat?
This is where we find William Cubbert and Rick Steadman during the opening of Larry Shue’s two-act comedy, The Nerd.
Performances for the close-out show for the 2015 Tidewater Stage Season open at Regent University’s Studio Theatre on Friday, July 31, and continues Saturday August 1-2 and 7-9.
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday-Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.
Purchase tickets at the University Box Office.
For actress and rising MFA student in Regent’s School of Communication & the Arts (SCA), Catherine Gaffney, performing in The Nerd is about raising the comedic stakes.
“This show is pure. An escape,” said Gaffney. “It’s like watching animation on stage.”
Gaffney, who plays the role of “Clelia Waldgrave,” hopes to simply make the audience’s day during performances.
“You’re going to laugh. I will guarantee. To have that true release, I think of it as being able to give a gift to each audience member,” said Gaffney. “You have to be bold when you’re acting in a comedy. You can’t make a halfway choice. You have to go all the way.”
Gaffney said she enjoyed making those “bold choices” alongside her future professors during rehearsals. The show is dripping with familiar SCA faces, including assistant SCA professor Marianne Savell and SCA professor Dr. Michael Kirkland, along with producing artistic director for Tidewater Stage and SCA associate professor, Dr. Eric Harrell.
“Acting was my first love before I began directing and teaching, so it has been great fun to stretch those muscles again,” said Harrell. “It’s especially rewarding to perform for our Tidewater Stage patrons whom I’ve grown to love and appreciate so much over these past three years as we’ve build this dynamic company together.”
This heart-felt and hilarious show features the work of guest director Karen Lund, associate artistic director at Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle, Washington. Gaffney worked with Lund prior to moving to Virginia Beach. She explained that having a director who knew her strengths gave her a safe place to “fail.”
Performing alongside her future faculty has given her that same assurance for her future education as she works to make audiences laugh.
“There’s something that happens with that belly laugh that all the cares of the world shake off – like an internal massage – it’s a release,” said Gaffney. “If I can give a bit of joy to someone after work on a Friday or a long day Saturday, and make life a little bit better, we can go back to our problems with a smile.”