Theatre of Louisiana Christian University opens season with ‘Bus Stop’

By Trinity Baugh, Wildcats Media

Theatre of Louisiana Christian University launched its 2021-2022 season Thursday with the play ‘Bus Stop’ directed by May 2021 LCU theatre graduate Samantha O’Banion.

Bus Stop is set in a rural Kansas town in a local diner. It follows the story of a bus of four people and their driver being forced to take shelter when a snowstorm hits, closing the roads for the night.

The play begins as you are introduced to Grace, played by Carmen Taffi, the owner of Grace’s Diner. She is accompanied by Elma, played by Olivia Huffman, who is a high school student working at the diner.

Will, played by George Griffing, is driving a bus with four passengers when he stops at the diner. Cherie, played by Colleen Andrews is a nightclub singer who is being dragged to a ranch in Montana by two cowboys, Bo and Virgil, against her will. Bo, played by Caleb Williams, is a cowboy who thinks he is in love with Cherie and is taking her to Montana to marry him. He is accompanied by his lifelong friend who helped raise him after his parents’ deaths, Virgil, played by Dustin Morace.

The conflict between Cherie and Bo is so apparent, though, that the town sheriff Carl, played by Samuel Tinsley, makes a visit to help ease tensions. The last passenger on the bus is Dr. Gerald Lyman, played by Aaron Quartemont, an ex-professor on the run to wherever the bus takes him.

The performance was absolutely stunning. The tension of stage between Cherie and Bo was clear and hilarious, and the fight between Sheriff Carl and Bo was even funnier. Quartemont did an excellent job portraying Dr. Lyman, the drunk professor who had a thing for young girls, and his flirting with Huffman was just subtle enough to keep her character Elma in the dark about what was going on.

The characters did anything they could think of to stay entertained throughout the storm, and the music performed by Andrews and Williams was amazing. The play kept you on your toes about the plot, and kept you laughing the entire time. The subtle jokes and drama of real life felt nothing but relatable.

The set was simple, but well done to depict the era of the play. What the set lacked in room, was made up for in lighting, giving the illusion of multiple sets with spotlights on specific characters to show a change in scenes.

Bus Stop was a pleasure to see, and Theatre Louisiana Christian University has done a wonderful job with this rendition. It runs again Saturday night at 7 and next weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for LCU students, faculty and staff; $12 for senior citizens and non-LCU students; and $15 for general admission. Groups of 10 or more can attend for $10. For additional information on ticket purchases, call 318-613-4064 or visit the tLCU ticket website.

Photos by Victoria Watson, Wildcats Media