Tim Klein grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., so he knows the Northern accent well.
But when it came time to explain it to the cast members of Southern Theatre’s production of “Escanaba in Da Moonlight,” he was met with blank stares.
“I told them that it sounds just like hockey announcers, but they didn’t understand,” says Klein, an associate professor of theater who is directing the play. “So I had the cast over to my house to watch hockey and listen to the announcers.”
The comedy, written by actor Jeff Daniels, will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, through Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Bud Walton Theatre.
The play centers on the Soady family, which reunites for the opening day of deer season at the family’s Upper Peninsula camp. But 35-year-old Reuben Soady brings with him the infamous reputation of being the oldest Soady in family history never to bag a buck.
“They embark on a bunch of superstitious behaviors to create the right atmosphere for his luck to change,” says Klein.
Having never directed a comedy before, Klein says that he knew he’d found a show he wanted to tackle after a student passed along a copy of “Escanaba” for him to read.
“I started reading it in my office and was laughing so hard I couldn’t continue to sit,” he says.
Klein says he prefers to stage the plays he directs in the Bud Walton Theatre because of its intimate nature. Last fall’s “God of Carnage” was presented “in the round,” with audience members sitting on all sides.
“(‘Escanaba’) will be three quarter thrust,” he says. “There are three audience banks around where the action happens. No matter where you’re sitting, you have a good view.”
The play is intended for mature audiences, due to explicit language and adult situations.
The cast includes Jackson Curtright as Remnar Soady; Shelly Keezer as Woolf Moon Dance; Moose Leighton as Jimmer Negamanee; Cameron Lopez as Ranger Tom T. Treado; Ryan Odenbrett as Reuben Soady; and Jon Sodoli as Albert Soady.
Admission is free for MSSU students, faculty and staff; $3 for adults; $1 for senior citizens; and $1 for nonMSSU students.
Please note, the play is for mature audiences only due to explicit language and adult situations.
The Southern Theatre box office is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. For reservations, call 417-625-3190. To purchase tickets online, go to: http://www.mssu.edu/ticket-office.