‘All the Great Books (abridged) opens Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 21, 2019

By Krissey Browder
Catawba College

SALISBURY — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and it seems you’ve left studying for your big literature test to the last possible second. Sound familiar? Never fear! The cast of “All the Great Books (abridged),” by Austin Tichner and Reed Martin, is here to teach you everything you need to know about all the great books in less than two hours’ time.

So, come take a journey with the cast Oct. 23, 24 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m. in the Florence Busby Corriher Theatre at Catawba College. Tickets are $8 for Catawba students, non-Catawba students, and senior adults and $10 for Catawba faculty and staff and the general public.

Set in a high school “cafegymnatorium,” this bizarre lesson in literature is taught by the least qualified staff on hand: a sports-obsessed coach, a wildly eccentric drama professor, and a half-witted student teacher. Together, this ragtag group of educators will attempt to teach the basics of the 89 great books through dramatic interpretation and hilarious antics, with the help of some homemade props and fast-paced, brilliantly timed wit.

Leading the lesson as the Coach is Mason Livers of Charlotte. Brielle Jobe of Frederick, Maryland, plays the eccentric and incredibly eager drama professor. JB Yankosky of Wilson joins the cast as the well-meaning but wildly misinformed student teacher.

Jordan Giffin of Kernersville directs what is to be the first student-led Blue Masque production in three years. “The best way I can describe ‘All the Great Books (abridged)’ is that it is as if you studied for the AP literature exam directly after taking a big honkin’ whiff of cocaine,” said Giffin. “The vision for this production is simply to present a bastardization of some of the most iconic books in literary history (89 of them to be exact) in the most entertaining way possible.”

Giffin is accompanied by a team of student designers including Kelly Sandoval of Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the lighting designer; Isaac Haney of Millboro, Virgina, as the set designer; Madison Dolchan of Frostburg, Maryland, as the costume designer; Sarah Rasey of Holly Springs as the props mistress; and alumnus Matt Carlson of Charlotte as the sound designer.

This show will leave you saying, “Please, sir, I want some more.”