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Bus Stop

This summer the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival will serve up a slice of Americana with Bus Stop, William Inge's touching and hilarious story of a footloose torch singer who knew too much about men, and a cowboy who didn't know enough about women.


Director Paul Moser is excited to be taking on this American classic. As the founding Artistic Director of OSTF, he believes that "part of the mission of our festival is to present plays by the great playwrights, and make them accessible to the public." A contemporary of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, William Inge helped to define the Golden Age of American Theater. With his vibrant portraits of small-town life in the American heartland, Inge became known as the "Playwright of the Midwest." The Pulitzer winning author of Picnic and Come back Little Sheba touched audiences with his tender portrayals of ordinary people struggling to find love and understanding in a world full of every-day loneliness and disappointment. His complex and compassionately drawn characters continue to resonate with modern day audiences.

Fates collide in Bus Stop when a freak snowstorm forces a group of bus passengers to seek shelter overnight in a diner in rural Kansas. To create this charming ensemble piece, Inge brings together iconic figures from different parts of the country: a champion rodeo cowboy from Montana, an aspiring nightclub singer from the Ozarks, an East Coast college professor, as well as the local sheriff and diner staff. Unable to escape both each other and themselves, they are all forced to confront how they deal with love and life. Moser feels that audiences respond so well to Inge's characters because "he seems to care very deeply about everyone, despite their flaws."

Leading the ensemble bringing this story to life are Cleveland area actors Erin Bunting, Skip Corris and Pete Ferry. They are joined by returning OSTF company members Matthew Wright and David Bugher, as well as Oberlin College alumni Courtney Merrell, Derrick Bean and Marina Shay.

Due to some mature subject matter, some parents may feel that this play is not appropriate for children under 13.

All performances take place in air-conditioned Hall Auditorium.

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(Photos by John Seyfried)

Company

Director Paul Moser

Cast

Elma Marina Shay
Cherie Courtney Merrell
Bo Derrick Bean
Will Pete Ferry*
Dr. Lyman Matthew Wright*
Carl Skip Corris*
Virgil David Bugher
Grace Erin Bunting
*This actor appears courtesy of The Actor's Equity Association.

For cast bios, see the complete company.