This week the West Chester University Theatre Department student directed shows “‘Dentity Crisis and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” open together at the J.P. Adler Studio Theatre promising to bring an evening of laughter to the audience’s lives. Both shows began as a classroom project last fall semester with the goal of having students run all aspects of the production process. Over the months, student directors, designers, and stage managers collaborated with both each other and cast of shows to achieve their final project which will come full circle this week. The class was taught by Professor Bob Bytnar, who wanted to set the stage for his students to display their many artistic talents. “‘Dentity Crisis” written by Christopher Durang, tells the tale of Jane, who is recovering from a nervous breakdown. She is nursed by her overwhelming mother, Edith Fromage, who claims that she invented cheese. Jane’s brother Dwayne apparently is having an affair with her mother. However, Dwayne is not just Jane’s brother, but also her father, grandfather, and even a French Count. Jane does not know who she is anymore. Her psychiatrist sits and listens to her story of a reoccurring dream of attending a horrific production of “Peter Pan” in her youth, only to leave and have a sex change operation and returns as a woman that Jane can no longer recognize anymore.
“Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” is a comedy mini-epic by Charles Busch. The story spans from ancient Sodom to 1920’s Hollywood and through 1980’s Las Vegas. At the beginning, a 14-year old virgin is given up for sacrifice to a Vampire/Succubus in ancient Sodom. The doomed virgin tries to escape from the vampire vixen’s grasp, but fails. The two meet several millennia later in 1920’s Hollywood. The vampire, now Madame La Condesa, and the virgin now, vampire Madeleine Astarte, are the two leading actresses of stage and film. The two clash at Condesa’s home, but flee after being trapped by a vampire hunter. They meet again in the 1980’s where the virgin is a Las Vegas performer and Succubus is now a casino janitor.
“‘Dentity Crisis” and “Vampire Lesbian’s of Sodom” will be running in conjunction at the J.P. Adler Studio Theatre at the E.O. Bull Center Wed. March 29 though Sunday, Apr. 2 with a $5.00 admission fee.