April 18, 2012

The "Quiet Desperation" of Inge's BUS STOP

By Megan Morrison, Photos by Louis Stein

William Inge is one of this country's most renowned playwrights, but, according to Gregory Lehane, the director of the School of Drama's upcoming production of BUS STOP, he can often be overshadowed by Arthur Miller or Tennessee Williams. 

“Inge has a voice that’s not as grand or insistent as Williams or Miller, “ says Lehane, who is also Professor of School of Drama and Music. “Quiet desperation is beautifully presented in these characters. As adorable and iconic as showgirls and cowboys are, that little bit of melancholy is very present.”

The School of Drama will present BUS STOP by William Inge, April 26 - May 5 in the Philip Chosky Theater in the Purnell Center for the Arts.

Even though the play is set in the 1950s, acting student Jessie Ryan (BFA '12) felt comfortable connecting to the script under Lehane’s instruction. “Greg had us coming to this work as ourselves,” says Ryan. “He told us to keep going with the language and don’t add all this other stuff because everything you need is in [Inge’s] language. I never would have appreciated this particular text without this experience with Greg.”

According to Lehane, some of the students appreciated working with an American text. “Because we’re a conservatory, and we do Shakespeare and Brecht, the actors are happy to be speaking their own language,” said Lehane. “The words are closer to their bones.”

Professor Lehane has been very pleased with the collaborative process with the students. “There’s these wonderful teaching moments with talented students when they find something they’ve never seen before,” says Lehane, “And it’s rewarding to help them build a performance house with which they can work in."

Watch the Interview with Director and Professor of School of Drama and Music, Gregory Lehane, as he talks about the setting and play, BUS STOP by William Inge.

This 1955 Tony Award winning play opens in the Philip Chosky Theater on April 25 and runs until May 5.

For more information, call the box office at 412.268.2407 or buy tickets online.