'The Dead Guy' Takes on Reality TV

See the Play at McKendree University’s Hett Center, Oct. 24-27

Lebanon, Ill. — The McKendree University theater program takes on reality television with “The Dead Guy,” a comedic satire about the entertainment industry. The play will be performed at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus on Oct. 24 to 26 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Oct. 27.

Written by Eric Coble, “The Dead Guy” is about the next big hit in reality TV. The biggest “loser” the producers can find is given $1 million dollars to spend in a week. His life will be filmed all day, every day, and broadcast each evening. The catch? On Sunday, he will die and America’s viewing public will choose how.

“This show touches on a lot of issues - reality TV, exploitation, how far we are willing to go for entertainment, the Midwest as ‘flyover country,’ family relationships, the idea that money can solve all problems, and more,” said Michelle Magnussen, director.

Joshua Fleming, a junior from Cave-in-Rock, stars as hard-luck guy Eldon Phelps. Joining him in the cast are Dawn Schmid, a junior from Columbia, as Gina Yaweth; Dutch Nave, a first-year from Morris, as Dougie; Mignon Biggs, a senior from Trenton, as Roberta Phelps; Tyler Jewell, a sophomore from Granite City, as Virgil Phelps; and Rebecca Blake, a junior from Branson, Mo., as Christy Moline. Other cast members are Shayna Dixon, a senior from Alton, and Magoline Middleton, a junior from Centralia, as two women; Aaron Vidad, a sophomore from South Elgin, as a security guard; Rachael Valbert, a senior from Granite City, as Nancy; Allie Stevens, a senior from Carterville, as Sheila; and Tanner Cooper a first-year from Granite City, as Godowsky. Doing commercial voiceovers are McKenna Scaturro, a first-year from Granite City; Megan Schmid, a junior from Columbia; Joey Corona, a first-year from Lake Villa; and Rodney McBride, a sophomore from Belleville.

The crew includes sophomores Julia Surdyke, of Festus, Mo., stage manager; Evan Bosaw, of Troy, sound designer; Dakota Reed, of West Frankfort, master electrician and light board operator; Dalton Robison, of Marion, projections coordinator; and juniors Nathan Hunt, of Harrisburg, deck manager and Cassie Kuberski, of Ashley, crew member. Senior Katelyn Kamphorst, of Belleville, and junior Layna Seibert, of Glen Carbon, manage the props.