‘Win With Wheeler’ Political Comedy Performed at McKendree Oct. 25-28

What makes a good politician? How do they become elected? Is it worth it?

Lebanon, Ill. – In politics, is there a “clear cut winner” or do we vote for the lesser of two evils? As the election nears and we make our decision, what should we look for in a candidate? The McKendree University Theater Department’s production of Lee Kalcheim’s political comedy “Win with Wheeler” gives insight on not only these questions but also what happens behind the scenes of a political campaign.

The production opens on Thursday, Oct. 25at 7:30 p.m. and continues on Oct. 26 and 27, with a at 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Oct. 28. The show will be performed at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus. Admission is free and seating is general admission. The house will open 30 minutes before curtain.

Sam Duffy, portrayed by senior Tyler Campbell of Trenton, is the campaign manager for Bill Wheeler, who is running for Senate. The play centers around Duffy and his campaign team as they do whatever it takes to get their candidate elected. Senator Jack Davis, played by junior Josh Fleming of Cave-In-Rock, is a crucial element in getting Wheeler to the top of the polls. However, this is politics and nothing is easy, including getting Davis’ endorsement.

With a candidate who seems to commit a gaffe every time he speaks; research assistant Kathy, played by senior Shayna Dixon of Alton, possibly running off to Puerto Rico; and a drunk candidate’s wife, will they succeed in getting Bill Wheeler elected? The campaign team tries to pull out a win for Wheeler while asking the question in the back of their minds—is it worth it?

Other cast members are: freshman Tyler W. Jewell of Granite City, as P.J. Wittlsie; junior Nathaniel Luckett of Freeburg, as Mason Sternwell; sophomore Dawn Schmid of Columbia, as Ellie Duffy; sophomore Rebecca Blake of Branson, Mo. as Reese Mandel; senior Allie Stevens of Carterville as Sarah Pryor also serving as public relations and dramaturg); senior Abbie Baker of Mascoutah, as the bellhop; junior Rachael Valbert of Granite City, as Florence Wheeler; sophomore Eric Dalaviras of Nashville, as Harvey; freshmen Ambrocya Burge of Salem and Sharon Herath of Mossville, election announcers; senior Lance Allen of Peoria, football announcer; Spencer Marcum of Centralia, as Bill Wheeler; and freshman Felicia Mathis of Mt. Carmel, as Chick Wilson.

Crew members are freshman Julia Surdyke of Festus, Mo. stage manager; senior Nicole Backer of Arnold, Mo. set designer; freshman Evan Bosaw of Troy, sound board operator; senior Jeff Lager of Breese, deck manager and the voice of Coach Jarowski.

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