Paul Russell

authordirectorcasting director

A Free Man of Color | Oliver | The Scarlet Pimpernel | Mamma Mia! | Bat Boy | Rocky Horror | Footloose | Guys and Dolls | About

 

BAT BOY- Barter Theatre: Paul Russell, director

 

 

 

"A delight
of the highest caliber!

Director Paul Russell has given this show the sort of production it demands; given the nature of the material, it is well-nigh impossible to carry anything to excess..."

Gary Aday
Washington County News

 

Director's notes...

 

Silliness. Sincerity. Laughter. Tragedy. Satire. Honesty.

 

 

Welcome to Bat Boy – The Musical. Ripped from the World Weekly News tabloid headline “Bat Child Found In West Virginia Cave!” Humorous, absurd situations and colorful characters, Bat Boy is genuine in purpose; tuneful exploration of difference while accepting personal responsibility for actions.

The most prevalent theme in Bat Boy is fear. Fear of the unknown and different. That’s the realist’s, “glass-half-empty” view. Acceptance, compassion, and understanding for difference would be an idealist’s prevalent thematic to be found within the tale of the pointy-eared half boy/half bat with a serious overbite. Bat Boy playfully marries realist and idealist; blood vial half-empty weds blood vial half-full.

When not enlightened and encountering someone or something not understood it’s human nature to be cautious of the unfamiliar. No matter how informed a society becomes, history provides present and future generations examples of adverse reactions by groups or by an individual when they encountered a situation, person, culture or custom that was not within their comfortable familiarity (or moral acceptance). In some instances the reaction to the different and/or unfamiliar was less than humane.

The Holocaust. The brutal slaying of Matthew Sheperd. The crucifixion of Christ. The burning of black churches. Physical violence targeted towards Muslims after 9/11. Closer to personal experience (and hopefully less extreme a response) we sometimes witness associates, friends, family, colleagues, and even in ourselves, a distasteful knee-jerk reaction spurned by ignorance because someone or something encountered was different; perceived as a threat. Whether overtly expressed or subtly inferred, often harmful is the reaction. Not only upon the target of difference but also to the dignity and humanity of the assailant or group attacking or dismissing what is different. This is a result of ignorance; a close relative to arrogance.

Ignorance and arrogance together are a dangerous grafting of hate seedlings. Bat Boy explores these words and characterizations of dismissal which can lead to hate. Not in a pious manner but with humor. Laughter can make messages of morality much more accessible. Laughter is also a subtle serpent in sublimely attacking self-righteous behavior and thought.

Like the title character in Bat Boy; I grew up in a small rural town and because I was viewed as being different from the accepted norm, I encountered abuse that still to this day leaves emotional scars within my spirit. You, at some point in your journey that is life, may have once been the target of prejudice. Be it the object of taunts in school, dismissed in a condescending manner because of the way you spoke or dressed, minimized for your income level, or belittled because of holding to the truths of your values. Bat Boy not only provides us laughter at ourselves, firmly placing the mirror of unflinching satire in our line of moral vision, it also brings hope that acceptance of everyone's individuality will one day be commonplace.

Life is too short for division. This journey that makes up our individual experiences shared on multiple crossroads with others is also too brief not to have some silliness in it. Revel in the silliness. Enjoy difference.

Company

 

Barter Theatre:

Production:

Sound Design: Bobby Beck; Lighting Design: Daniel Ettinger; Costumes, Kimberly Stockton, Set Design: Daniel Ettinger; Fight Director: Mike Ostroski; Dramaturge: Catherine Bush; Stage Manager: Cindi A. Raebel; Musical Director: Steve Sensenig; Choreographer: Wendy Piper; Director: Paul Russell; Producing Artistic Director: Richard Rose

Cast:

Bat Boy: Ben Mackel; Ruthie Taylor: Amy Baldwin; Rick Taylor: Sean Campos; Ron Taylor: Cheyenne Nelson; Sheriff Reynolds: James Felton Graham; Bud: David McCall; Clem: Cheyenne Nelson; Mr. Dillon: Sean Campos; Daisy: David McCall; Maggie: Cheyenne Nelson; Lorraine: Sean Campos; Shelley Parker: Gwen Edwards; Meredith Parker: Cathy Whelan; Roy: Darrick Penny; Ned: Amy Baldwin; Dr. Thomas Parker: Tom Angland; Mrs. Taylor: Darrick Penny; Reverend Hightower: Darrick Penny: Pan; David McCall; Institute Man: Darrick Penny

 

 

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