The Crazy Quilt



crazy qBy Sierra Pearson

Imagine, expecting to move in with your daughter but instead you get her, talking cats, a sassy dead husband, your neighbor’s ghost, and figments of your imagination. Confused? Don’t be because that’s what happened in Ferrum College Theatre Department’s, The Crazy Quilt, a tragic-comedy written by theater professor Wayne Bowman about a woman stricken with Alzheimer’s. Sarah, played by senior Charlene Hewitt, has just moved in with her daughter Jane (senior Megan Robles). The audience watches as Sarah spirals into the horrible disease that is dementia.

Bowman drew inspiration for the play from his mother, who also had Alzheimer’s. Even before the show started, Bowman described his play as “absurd because Alzheimer’s is so absurd.” A lot of the cast and crew could relate with Bowman because they had family members with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The department put this show on over the summer and since then the play has had some adjustments the actors enjoyed. Even students who were cast in it before but didn’t return to the play enjoyed the changes.

“The change let me play with the character more,” Hewitt said.

The music was composed by Sue Spataro, whose mother also had Alzheimer’s. The music really made the show. Her son JT Spataro played guitar while she played piano. One of the audience’s favorite characters had to be James, Sarah’s deceased husband, portrayed by junior TJ Olma. People may have missed some of his best lines because they were still laughing at one quip when he delivered then next. The audience also enjoyed the performances by sophomore Zach Reyes who played Joe and the Doctor. Senior Stephanie McIntyre, who played Blackie, brought wonder to the audience with her beautiful singing, but the actors weren’t the only stars of the show, as the crew put just as much work into the play, if not more. Without them the show wouldn’t have been as great as it was. Some important crew members included Chris Taylor, who did sound; Precious Leonard who ran board, prop master Devyn Wooten; and all of the runners. Salonia Thorne and Will Philips (who also doubled as the lumberjack in the play) had two of the most stressful jobs as stage manager and assistant stage manager respectively.

“I really enjoyed stage managing this show,” Thorne said. “It was an emotional experience for everyone, even the crew, but we all had a good time working together to make it happen.”

Everyone in the crowd shed a tear at least once during this show from either laughing too hard or out of genuine sadness. This show touched the hearts of everyone, even if you have never met anyone with this horrible disease.

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