The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Familial drama to hit Schuster stage

Sam Shepard’s drama, “A Lie of the Mind,” is not like anything Gannon’s Schuster Theatre has ever done before. 

Dark and almost sinister, this play asks a lot of both the relatively small cast and the audience members.  “Lie” forces the audience to face many issues that are never really touched onstage anywhere else, like spousal abuse, alcoholism and parental neglect.

 Ryann Beaumont, a junior biology/ pre-med major, said the play differs from the typical on-stage show.

“It’s darker and there’s more of a subtext that captures your attention,” she said. “It’s a show that you’re going to get something out of – it’s going to affect you.”

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“A Lie of the Mind” focuses on the relationships of two families once connected by marriage, but now completely separate and dysfunctional. Before the play opens, Jake, portrayed by freshman biology major Matt Kridel, beats his wife Beth, played by sophomore theater and communication arts major Allison Kessler, into a comatose state.

The play details the aftereffects of this violent altercation and how both families begin to cope with it. Jake gets help from his overbearing mother, Lorraine (Nicole Dohoda), compassionate brother Frankie (Keefer Kopco) and sister Sally (Beaumont), the most well-adjusted character in the play. 

Beth learns how to live again through the aid of her overprotective brother,  Mike (Patrick Chounet), ditzy mother,  Meg (Kathleen Cahill), and gruff father, Baylor (Alex “Q” Bieler).

Both families utilize coping methods from over-parenting to indifference, and the play follows both families’ journeys back to almost normal.

All members of the cast agree that “Lie” presents a unique challenge for both cast and audience.  The subject matter of the show could be difficult to deal with, especially for people who may have triggers affected by the subject of abuse. 

However, an opportunity to see a play of this caliber should not be missed.

“I think it would be a tragedy if folks across the Gannon community did not see a production written by Sam Shepard, one of the most thought-provoking American playwrights of our time,” Director Jax Kubiak said.

“A Lie of the Mind” runs from Feb. 10-12 and 17-19 at 8 p.m., and Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. This play is not appropriate for all audiences due to adult language and content.


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