Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

‘Women and Wallace’ at BHC theater

Wallace, played by Sam Pool, talks with Victoria, played by Jessica Aguilar Ramos. Photo courtesy of Darise Error.

Theatre Brookhaven performed a dark comedy play called “Women and Wallace” Oct. 11-14. The performance was held in the Black Box Theater to drama members, at Dallas College Brookhaven Campus.

Darise Error, performance arts faculty, as well as director and sound designer for the production, said she came up with the idea of performing “Women and Wallace.”

“I saw a production of it about 10-12 years ago that featured a former and beloved student of mine,” Error said. “I liked the play and put it in ‘my back pocket.’”

“Women and Wallace” follows Wallace, played by Brookhaven freshman Sam Pool, from second grade through young adulthood, as he attempts to navigate through his life and the women in it.

Wallace has difficulty with this, as his ability to connect with women has been severely stifled. Wallace’s mother, played by long-time Theatre Brookhaven student and prop designer Dayna S. Fries, died by suicide when he was still in the second grade.

Error said: “I was struck by the poignancy of a young man trying to overcome childhood trauma and learning to cope socially and romantically in the real world. That was the backbone for me – a little boy who lost his mother and has serious problems relating to women now as he never had anyone to teach him.”

A recurring theme of the story is the phrase “women abandon,” which is said by Wallace at various points throughout the play.

Wallace’s life experiences, from his point of view, validate this statement.

One of Wallace’s childhood friends and first romantic partners, Gabriella, played by Brookhaven student Jessica Aguilar Ramos, is initially interested in him, but is put off after Wallace moves too fast in their relationship.

Wallace has similar experiences with other women in his life, played by Brookhaven students Marisa Faz, Emily Murphy and Melanie Rivera, as well as guest artist Caroline Murphy, a playwright who previously taught at Brookhaven in 2014.

After Wallace impulsively cheats on his only steady girlfriend, Nina, played by Rivera, he is talked to by his grandmother, played by Caroline, who helps him finally move past his trauma to form a genuine connection with the women around him.

“Women and Wallace” covers mature themes through a comedic lens. Error said she believes this was essential to the audience experience. “I think we have to laugh, even during the saddest times, or we’d all cut our throats with a kitchen knife,” Error said. “The laughter helps us deflect some of the sorrow, helps us remember good times, gives us small respites of happiness as we navigate pain, and helps us move forward after a tragedy.”

According to the program for “Women and Wallace,” many of the cast were relatively new to acting before auditioning for the production.

Error said she encourages any student interested in drama to come to open auditions, whether they are theater students or not.

“Give it a try,” Error said. “You may find that you like the smell of greasepaint and sawdust after all. And come take an acting class with me.”

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