The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents William Inge’s comedic and touching play "Bus Stop," Sept. 25-30 and Oct. 1-4 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.
Appearing on Broadway in 1955 and adapted for the silver and small screens, "Bus Stop" continues to entertain audiences and reminds us of a simpler time rich with Americana. Inge has written a piece that is full of sentimental but very real characters contained in a very provocative story.
As the play opens, Grace (Allie Verry), the owner of the restaurant, and her young waitress, Elma (Allison Howe), are anticipating the arrival of the interstate bus and its passengers in the early morning of March 1955. With the arrival of Sheriff Will Masters (Nathanial Vogel) comes the news that a freak snowstorm has closed all the roads. This means that the bus that is due to arrive shortly and all its passengers are stranded until the roads can be cleared. Just before Grace and Elma can process the news, the bus and its passengers arrive.
At the heart of the play are Cherie (Meghan Cameron), a nightclub singer, and Bo Decker (Trevor Hudson), a rancher from Montana. Cherie is scared and trying to hide from Bo, who has fallen deeply and quickly in love with Cherie and assumes the feelings are mutual. However, Cherie does not feel the same way toward him. In fact, once they arrive at the restaurant Cherie seeks out the sheriff and tells him that she's being held against her will.
Stranded alongside Cherie and Bo are Carl (Braedon Garrett), the bus driver who seems to have a relationship with Grace, as well as Virgil Blessing (Ebrin Stanley) a father-figure to Bo, and Dr. Gerald Lyman (Nick Manthe), a retired college professor who enjoys flirting with Elma and drinking.
What we discover are the stories these characters have to tell. We watch strangers become friends, characters discover themselves, what it means to be loved and, of course, the revealing of secrets in this touching play.
"Bus Stop" performs Sept. 25, 26, 30 and Oct. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (62+), $10 for students K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and $5 for USD students with an ID. They can be purchased 12-5 p.m. by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400 or online.