School of Theatre Arts Presents Stop Kiss

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Theatre Arts will present Diana Son’s moving seriocomedy Stop Kiss Oct. 3-7 at the Jerome Mirza Theatre at McPherson Hall (2 Ames Plaza East, Bloomington).

Set in New York in the late 1990s, Stop Kiss tells the story of the development of a friendship and the impact of an unexpected first kiss. The play centers on Callie (Maya McGowan ’20) and Sara (Emily Strub ’20), two strangers who quickly become friends and begin to develop an emotional connection with one another. Despite their emotional intimacy, the characters are unable to verbally acknowledge that they are falling in love. To make matters worse, the characters' first kiss results in an assault which places Sara in a coma, leaving Sara and Callie unable to express their true feelings toward one another.

As this love story takes a rather violent, unexpected turn, the play highlights acts of intolerance that occur in society and challenges audience members to ask themselves who they are, what they want and what they are willing to risk by pursuing things that will make them truly fulfilled. The show is reflective of this year’s annual theme Changing Climates, which centers on changing aspects of society — including social, political, economic and cultural aspects — and their impact on humanity.

Professor of Theatre Arts Nancy Loitz will direct the production. Psychology and theatre arts double major Brynn Beveridge ’20, will serve as assistant director, and theatre arts major Madisen Debord ’20, as stage manager. Cast members also include: Jim Conklin ’20 (Detective Cole), Sam Hulsizer ’20 (George), Jean Muza ’19 (Mrs. Winsley/Nurse) and Kieran O'Connor ’21 (Peter).

Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. each evening except for the matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Oct. 7. Tickets are $12 for Friday and Saturday, and $10 for Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Wednesday performance is free, and all performances are $2 for students with an ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Jerome Mirza Theatre Box Office. For additional information, please contact the box office at (309) 556-3232.

By Vi Kakares ‘20