Criminal Genius on stage this month at University When USD Theatre presents Criminal Genius Feb. 23-26 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre, patrons will see another play by the most prolific and celebrated playwright in Canadian history, George F. Walker.
Criminal Genius is set in an urban environment and features characters who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Their struggle to survive in a hostile, unfair world is represented in action that is unpredictable, hilarious and, at times, violent.
Criminal Genius, which is part of a six-play cycle titled Suburban Motel, takes place in a seedy motel and reacquaints patrons who saw Escape From Happiness with Rolly and Stevie Moore, a bumbling father and son team of petty thieves. Jason Lage, Mobridge, and Pat Pope, Sioux Falls, play the comic protagonists who have been recruited by Shirl "the Pearl" Katakis (Kathryn Hollerman, Vermillion) and Amanda Castle (Colleen Marsh, Sioux Falls) to assist with some criminal activities.
Because Rolly and Stevie, along with the alcoholic motel manager Phillie Phillips (Sam Williams, Yankton), are at heart non-violent people, they are understandably conflicted when placed in situations where violence seems to be the only course of action. The language is at times rough, the action fast-paced, gritty and violent, but the end result is a new play that promises to delight right up to the shocking conclusion.
The setting and lights are designed by theatre faculty David Tidwell and Dennis Chandler, respectively, while undergraduate student Catina Laurendeau-Kost designs the costumes. Professor Eric Hagen serves as director.
Tickets to Criminal Genius are $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and youth, and $1 for USD students with ID. Box office hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends. Reservations can be made by calling the USD Theatre box office at (605) 677-5400 beginning Feb. 14.