By MaryAnn Kromer
PHOTO BY STEVE WILLIAMS
Mitch (center) complains about the dogs that shredded his shirt. The actors shown (from left) are Graham Altizer as Uncle George, Justin Grimes as Mitch and Paige Hanson as Mitch’s wife, Joanne.
ometimes, what remains unseen can be as curious as what is plainly visible.
That is the case as Tiffin University's Dragon's Den Players present "The Money in Uncle George's Suitcase," a comedy by Pat Cook. Curtain time is 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in Osceola Theatre in the Gillmor Student Center on campus.
The audience is transported to Uncle George's rustic lake house, which has few amenities for guests, especially city folk.
In the title role is Graham Altizer, who has invited his surviving family members to the backwoods cabin for a reunion of sorts. They include his sisters Margaret and Mamie Jo, played by Jamie Reed and Nicole Beard, respectively. George's two nieces also arrive. Cari Lyczek-Roser and Tyler Bell portray Gloria and Andrew Shumway. Paige Hanson and Justin Grimes have the roles of Joanne and Mitch Bryant. Completing the cast is Julie
Banks as George's great-niece, Chelsea.
Only the teen-age Chelsea takes an interest in Uncle George and his rambling stories.
The audience does not see the venison and rabbit George feeds his visitors, but their digestive distress is clearly dramatized. George's dungeon-like cellar and rambunctious dogs do not appear on the set, but they add to the humor as Mitch gets his shirts shredded and Andrew has an adventure down below.
Finally, George brings out his will, in which he is leaving the cabin to the family, with many stipulations about its preservation. Once the news is announced, the relatives react with disappointment and prepare to leave.
Offhandedly, George mentions a suitcase full of cash he has hidden somewhere on the site.
The visitors immediately decide to stay and humor Uncle George - and maybe find the money. They become suspicious of one another and break into heated arguments. All except Joanne and Chelsea grope around the darkened cabin during the night looking for the suitcase.
But wait. What if the stash is just another of Uncle George's stories?
"This domestic farce characterizes the lengths to which family members will go in order to end up with the largest slice of the pie," said Mary Grennen, associate professor of English and director of theater arts. "In each of the family members, we witness an about-face in character when the news of a hidden bundle of cash on Uncle George's dilapidated property is revealed. The exact location of the money is anybody's guess, and the tension builds as all engage in a comical and devious treasure hunt."
Tickets are $4 at the door. For more details, call Grennen at (419) 448-3376.