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K-State Today

April 2, 2012

Purple Masque presents family drama 'A Nervous Smile' April 12-14

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

"A Nervous Smile," a play about the challenges of raising a child with cerebral palsy, will be the next production by Kansas State University theater students in the Purple Masque Theater.

The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 12-14. The Purple Masque Theater is in East Stadium.

"A Nervous Smile" is the story of Emily's parents, an affluent New York couple who are pushed to the breaking point when they have to weigh their own happiness against that of their severely disabled child's well-being. In the midst of their crumbling marriage, the two make a shocking decision and face the ultimate consequences.

Written by John Belluso, this play tackles the hidden struggles of a family with a child who has disabilities through an emotional and distressing story of loss and love, responsibility and the desire for happiness.

"I chose this play in honor of the author, John Belluso, who was a disabled playwright," said LeAnn Meyer, director of the play and master's student in drama therapy, Topeka. "Belluso became known as the pioneering champion for artists with disabilities. He brilliantly displays the unchanging love and struggles of a family with a child who has cerebral palsy. He paints the stage with truth and as a director, I couldn't ask for more."

Tickets cost $4 to $7, with a variety of discounts available for university students, seniors and military families. They can be purchased at the McCain Auditorium box office from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by calling 785-532-6428 during box office hours. Tickets also may be purchased at the Little Theater box office in the K-State Student Union from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Groups of 10 or more may receive a discount rate. For more information or assistance in planning a theater party, contact Marci Maullar at 785-532-6878.

In addition to Meyer, K-State students in the cast or crew for "A Nervous Smile" include:

Paul Crawshaw, senior in theater, Altoona, set design; Ross Stone, master's student in drama therapy, De Soto, as Brian; Derrick Weishaar, sophomore in theater and fine arts, Lawrence, set design; Diana Watts, junior in theater, Manhattan, as Eileen; Joe Klug, senior in theater, Overland Park, lighting design; Kristina Gent, junior in theater, Salina, as Nic; and Emily White, sophomore in theater, Topeka, set design.

From out of state: Sabaah Jauhar-Rizvi, graduate student in theater, Carpentersville, Ill., costume design.