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Actor Chris Hutchison '91, guest star on an episode of the NBC television series “Ed” this season, returned to Lafayette to direct Eric Bogosian's “subUrbia” April 24-27 at the Williams Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre.

“I had a great experience in theater at Lafayette,” says Hutchison, who learned April 11 that he will play a major role in a new play written by Romulus Linney, one of the premier American playwrights and father of Hollywood actress Laura Linney. “For a school that's not a conservatory, I — and my brother (Brian Hutchison '92) — still managed to have enough of a positive experience and to make enough progress as an actor that I launched my career in the real world after graduation, where I was hooking up with people who had been to conservatories. I've always felt great fondness for my experience here.”

For Hutchison, who majored in English at Lafayette, “subUrbia” marks his debut as director of a full-length play.

“As I get a bit older and try to negotiate my way through this business, I'm very interested in striving not only to continue my professional career as an actor, but to have interesting jobs in academia directing or teaching, because it's rewarding and keeps my own craft sharp,” he adds. “Lafayette seems a great place to start.”

Love – and a whole lot more – is in the air outside a convenience store when a rising rock star returns to his old hangout in “subUrbia,” Bogosian's scathing portrait of teenage wasteland. Marked by the caustic wit and searing social satire that characterize Bogosian's own solo performances, including “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee,” performed at the Williams Center in September 2000, this hilarious and disturbing portrait of lost American youth was described by the New York Post as “one of those rare must-sees.”

“I couldn't have asked for a play that I'm more interested in doing,” says Hutchison. “Students at college rarely get the opportunity to act in a play as appropriately age-specific as “subUrbia.” Rather than 18-year-olds putting on wigs and costumes in a play where ages range from 18 to 80, all the characters in “subUrbia” are about the same age as the students playing them.”

Hutchison, whose acting experience includes several TV roles and many stage appearances, earned his M.F.A. in acting at the University of Washington-Seattle in 1999, then moved to New York. He went on to act in regional theater productions at Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Center Stage in Baltimore, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. He also wrote and acted in a solo show, “Trip,” that was produced in New York by the theater group Here.

This season, Hutchison portrays the character Kapler on an episode of the sitcom “Ed” and has acted in a variety of “small and medium off-off-Broadway shows.” He scored a major coup by receiving a lead role in Lark, a new play by Romulus Linney, who is rewriting the part specifically to take advantage of Hutchison's talents. The production will be performed next month at the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York, which has held an annual marathon highlighting many new plays for the past quarter century.

“SubUrbia” contains adult language and situations. Tickets cost $6 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009. Seating is limited.

Scenery is by Richard A. Kendrick; costumes by D. Polly Kendrick, Parrott Designs; sound by Timothy Frey; and stage management by Katherine Rewinkle '03.

Jeff — W. Alex Walker '03 (English major, McLean, Va.)
Tim — Andrew DiFazio '02 (chemical engineering major, Gorham, Maine)
Buff — Simon W. White '02 (government and law major, Upland, Calif.)
Norman — Ricardo El-Darwish '03 (computer science major, Ferney-Voltaire, France)
Sooze — Nora Kennedy '02 (history major, Williston Park, N.Y.)
Bee Bee — Emily Goldberg '05 (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Erica — Rose Pilato '02 (English major, Redding, Conn.)
Pony — Neil Landwehr '02 (English major, Summit, N.J.)
Pakeeza — Elizabeth Youngkin '03 (neuroscience major, Easton, Pa.)

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles