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Cast of 'True West' discusses show, characters

"True West" began its two-week run Thursday, and the O'Colly asked the four actors, Evan Houck, Tyrin Baldtrip, Mira Owens and Devin Hite about their thoughts on the show.

Evan Houck, a theatre sophomore, is playing the part of Austin. Houck said Austin is an ordered man with a unique temperament that shifts throughout the show. Houck said his favorite part of the show is when the technical elements of the show tie in with the story.

“You should come see the show to experience an incredible story with heart-wrenching moments, accompanied by a handful of laughs,” Houck said.

Devin Hite, a theatre junior, portrays Austin’s brother Lee. Hite said Lee is an aggressive thief fueled by a constant stream of alcohol. Hite said his character is man without direction who, when he discovers his brother's ambitions and success, endeavors to make them his own. Hite's favorite parts of the show are exploring the sibling dynamic of Austin and Lee and the outrageous props in the play.

“The play is a demonstration of the fact that the underlying bond of family survives no matter the circumstances," Hite said. "In addition, it serves as a cautionary tale to anyone who may be all too familiar with the personalities portrayed, warning of the consequences of deep familial turmoil and how it can develop, if not addressed.”

Tyrin Baldtrip, a theatre sophomore, plays Saul Kimmer, a Hollywood producer who comes to read Austin’s screenplay. Although unintentional, he instigates the drama between the two brothers of the show.

“Everyone in the show has worked really hard," Baldtrip said. "Whether it is the backstage crew, actors or understudies, we all created an amazing show with lots of hard work. I think people enjoy what other people are passionate about, so I think people who come see the show would love it.”

Mira Owens, a theatre senior, plays the mother of Austin and Lee. She said the mother is a neat and tidy divorcée with a soft-spot for her two sons. Owens' favorite part in the show is the first moment when the mom walks into the chaos between Lee and Austin. Although the mother is trying to solve the problems between her sons, she is ultimately doing the opposite.

“I think people should come see the show because it’s a wonderful study on the human condition and what can happen to people under extreme amounts of stress,” Owens said.

True West will run Thursday and Friday 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors (65 and older) and $7 for students.