By Ridglea Willard
The SMU Meadows School of the Arts Division of Theatre proudly presents “Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life” by Ketti Frings. The tear-jerking, chill-inducing production, directed by Benard Cummings, shows from December 3-7, 2014 in the Greer Garson Theatre. “Look Homeward, Angel” is set in Altamont, North Carolina in 1916. The plot centers on the dysfunctional Gant family. Parents Eliza and W.O. Gant, played by Tiana Johnson and Timothy Paul Brown respectively, are trapped within a loveless marriage teeming with tension. Meanwhile, their sons Ben (played by Kamen Casey) and Eugene (played by Robert George) are forced to deal with the backlash of their parents’ detached manner and constant fighting. Additionally, a large portion of the strife the family encounters is rooted in either Eliza’s greed or W.O.’s alcoholism.
Ultimately, the performance is a must-see because it truly causes audience members to reevaluate priorities after seeing W.O.’s wasted opportunities while encouraging people to show affection for their loved ones after watching Eliza continually push people away. Although the production is fraught with drama and emotion, there is also well-timed comedic relief to provide balance.
In conclusion, everything from the creative set design to the well-executed lighting and scene changes worked flawlessly in conjunction with the plot of the production. Ultimately, there are not words for how each cast member completely outdid himself or herself. The portrayal of grief and loss throughout the play was phenomenal. Every emotion represented during the show felt genuine and made it easy to empathize with even the most unlovable of characters. The cast, from top to bottom, performed flawlessly. “Look Homeward, Angel” is a true testament to the theater program’s talent and professionalism. The hard work and persistence displayed in this show should make every Mustang sincerely proud to call such gifted actors and actresses family.
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