Fresno State will be featuring the second production ever of a play by one of America’s top new playwrights.

Fresno State features outlandish play

The play opened Sept. 30 and will run through Oct. 8.
The play is considered very contemporary and cutting edge.
Alicia Acevedo / The Collegian

Fresno State will be featuring the second production ever of a play by one of America’s top new playwrights.

The play, “T.I.C. Trenchcoat in Common,” is written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. “T.I.C.” made its world premier in January of 2009 in San Francisco.

J. Daniel Herring, associate professor in the department of theatre arts at Fresno State and director of “T.I.C.” described the play as a sort of modern-day Greek comedy. He said the play deals with relationships.

“We are so plugged in and so connected to computers and technology that sometimes we forget how to have a relationship face to face with people,” Herring said.

Herring said he chose “T.I.C.” because he wanted to do something contemporary and cutting edge.

“This is a play that definitely has a very sort of absurdist abstract theatrical style to it,” Herring said. He said he feels it’s important for all theatre arts majors to work on a script that’s not typical realism.

Herring said the students starring in “T.I.C.” are playing roles they would not typically be asked to play.

“But as they go out into the real world they very well may be asked to do characters like this,” Herring said.

Herring said the play is filled with characters that everyone knows.  Some of the characters include a flasher, a musician, who is not a very good one, a father who doesn’t quite know how to be a father and others that could typically be found in TV shows, movies and plays. “But I don’t know that you’ll always find them in the same TV show, same movie, same play,” Herring said.

Along with the six roles written into the script, Herring casted six additional roles for “T.I.C.” He calls them icon manipulators. The icon manipulators at times mirror the actors’ emotions and at times they represent or become extensions of props.

Freshman Austin Yarbrough plays the role of an icon manipulator.

“I feel that we’re more important as a group then we are individually,” Yarbrough said. He also said they help make the play as different as it is.

Walter Teng is a senior at Fresno State and is a sound designer for “T.I.C.” Teng said “T.I.C.” is out of the norm and a challenging play. Teng said Herring has made the play come alive.

“What an awesome director,” Teng said referring to Herring. “He does things really, really well.”

The cast of 12 has been rehearsing since the beginning of the semester. Herring said they rehearsed about 15 hours a week.

“T.I.C.” will be performed in the John Wright Theatre. The first showing of the play was Friday, Sept. 30 and will run until Saturday, Oct. 8. The play does contain mature subject matter, mature language and brief nudity.