Four Plays for Coarse Actors: Purposefully and accidentally funny

The Philip Lynch Theatre presents “Four Plays for Coarse Actors,” an adaptation based off a screenplay by Michael Green and is directed by Annie Calhoun. The performance debuted on Nov. 17-19 and will still hold both evening and matinee showtimes on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-3.

In contrast to the enchanting tale of “The Little Prince,” the latest production takes a whimsical turn. With a playful touch, this nonsensical performance is a delightful blend of laughter and theatrical “mistakes,” ensuring smiles throughout the entire theater.

The story breaks the fourth wall. Instantly, the show brings in the audience, naming them the fictional “Romeoville Rec Center and Fall Theatre Group Section C.” The audience is involved as  the actors try to raise money for the hall due to their electrician being involved in a (non-fatal) accident.

Michael Goelz, a junior philosophy of law major, who previously took on the role of the Aviator in the “The Little Prince”, leads the cast through four distinct plays, each set within unique situations. These scenarios range from a seemingly “serious” murder mystery to kickstart the full production.

Utilizing various practical effects and embracing both intentional and unintentional mishaps such as broken props, missed cues and even visible backstage crew, “Four Plays for Coarse Actors” takes on a sarcastic lighthearted tone, making it an enjoyable production to watch.

“This play offers the audience a chance to escape; they come here to laugh and have fun. One of the first comments we received on stage from the cast is the acknowledgment of how much fun we were having together,” says cast-member Vanessa Hall, a senior forensic criminal investigation major. It’s enjoyable to work with a large cast, where everything is meant to be chaotically messy, and where everything is supposed to go wrong.”

The production embraced a humorous touch with broken tables, a triangle-led orchestra, and trampolines, offering plenty of opportunities for laughter. The ensemble is joined by Barituka Ereba, Brianna Hall, Nico Duenas and many other talents..

Annie Calhoun, Assistant Professor of Theatre and director of the production, shared her feelings about the show. “There is something so healing and refreshing about this communal laughter. To me, this is why comedy is a very serious matter. The only way to reenter the heaviness the world brings daily, is to have moments of connected joy that offer renewal and energy.”

Tickets are available online through, by calling the PLT Box Office at 815-836-5500 from 1-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and in person through the same hours and times. Students receive a discount on seats too! 

The Philip Lynch Theatre, located at the Oremus Fine Arts Center, is preparing upcoming productions including “Exit Strategy” on Feb. 17-19 and Feb. 22-25 and “Godspell” on Apr. 19-21 and 25-28.

Photo Credits: Andrew Nelsen

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