Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio Opens Theatre Season at U of M University News
For release: October 3, 2008, 2008

For press information, contact Alice Berry, 901/678-3184

The season opener at the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance is Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio Oct. 3-4 and 7-11. All shows start at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.

Barry Champlain is outrageous and insulting as the shock jock of a late-night radio show and main character of Talk Radio. Listening to his callers (“nut jobs and psychos”) wail and whine about their problems, he prods them for information and then cuts them to the bone with his quick wit and hard-edged cynicism acting as analyst, confessor and devil’s advocate. This Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama puts us in the studio with Barry one night when his life begins to spin out of control.

Written in 1987, Bogosian’s play addresses a time before talk radio was coming to the forefront of American awareness. In an interview with Robert Simonson, Bogosian says, “As I was writing it, talk radio became influential. Out of that came Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern’s crazy career. It’s all spanned the period since this play first came out. This play lives in a world where talk radio hasn’t made such an impact yet.”

Third year MFA candidate Nicolas Crisafulli leads a cast of U of M students, with senior Darius Frye as Barry. Frye commented that the unpredictable nature of Barry’s interaction with the callers excites him most about the role. Crisafulli’s most recent local credit is Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig at East End Playhouse. Not only are there interesting characters who work with Barry at the station, but an ensemble of four provide the voices of the callers to Barry’s show, including seniors Julia Baltz and Melissa Harkness, as well as Alex Graham and Joe McDaniel.

Tickets are $10 and $15. For reservations, call 678-2576.


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