Bring your tissues to Lakeland Cultural Art Center’s final small stage production of the year, a reading of Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom’s play, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” presented next month at both Frontier Warren and Lake Gaston Outfitters.
Directed by Lakeland’s artistic director John DuVall, the drama explores love, friendship, and dying through conversations between a college professor and his favorite student. The reading features DuVall as Mitch and Mark Nielsen as Morrie.
The play was selected, DuVall said, because it is life-affirming and has a good script. It is based on Albom’s memoir about weekly visits with a former college professor dying of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
DuVall said he chose Nielsen to play Morrie because he’s a good actor with a natural delivery and conveys honest emotion well, which is crucial for the role.
“And he’s old,” DuVall added, laughing.
This will be DuVall and Lakeland’s first experience with “Tuesdays with Morrie,” and he said he’s finding it pretty easy to direct. Having a mother with Alzheimers and being friends with Nielsen, conversations have sometimes focused on getting older and dying, he said.
“My focus is to let the humor and sadness come through,” the actor/director said. “We’re focusing on not playing anything up, presenting it in an honest format. The simplicity of the words will shine through.”
The play promises to be a tear-jerker.
“If the audience isn’t weeping by the end of the show, we haven’t done our jobs,” DuVall said.
“Tuesdays with Morrie” will be presented at Frontier Warren, 140 S. Main St., Warrenton, Dec. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. Charcuterie by Not So Basic Batches and wine will be available by donation.
The play will be presented at Lake Gaston Outfitters, 2401 Eaton Ferry Rd., Littleton, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. Wine and snacks will be available by donation.
Doors open one hour before curtain for all shows.
Tickets are $15, and seating is limited. To reserve tickets, call or text 419-351-5928.