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Lying in State

Feb 11 – Mar 20
Barter's Smith Theatre

A riotous comedy by David C. Hyer

The state senator has died in a ridiculous gun accident, and it has made him a national hero. Everyone is searching for something. The local political party leaders are strenuously looking for someone to fill his senate seat. His ex-wife is looking for a bugler to play for his funeral. Bunny, the stripper, and a host of other zany characters are looking for love, votes, the right casket and a big purple squirrel named Mel. In this madcap comedy, love, politics and well, everything, are not what they seem.

Lying In State will have three performances at additional venues:

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 7:30 PM at The Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA
Friday, March 25, 2016 at 7:00 PM at Brunswick High School in Lawrenceville, VA
Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 7:30 PM at The Harvester Center in Rocky Mount, VA

Director's Notes

In 2000, a dead man ran for Senate in Missouri. And won.

His name was Mel Carnahan, and he was running against John Ashcroft. Just weeks before the election, he died in a plane crash, and according to Missouri state election laws, Mel’s name had to stay on the ballot.

We go to a political farce expecting to see far-fetched scenarios and ridiculous characters, but incidents like these prove that real life is often stranger than fiction.

In Lying in State, Ed, a state senator, has died under truly ridiculous circumstances, and, thanks to a quirk of fate and some good P.R., he has become a national hero. Everyone around him is hoping to turn it to their own advantage, and it turns out that the senator might just be more electable dead than alive.

I’m thrilled to be directing Lying in State, especially during an election year. It’s easy to poke fun at politicians on “the other side,” but the best political comedies allow us to laugh at the games politicians play, regardless of party, and remind us that we have more in common than not.

But when you leave the play today at least you can rest assured that none of these characters will be running the country. Enjoy!

— Andrew Hampton Livingston, Director

Cast & Credits

Edna: Tricia Matthews
Herb: Michael Poisson
Wally: Barrett Guyton
Buttons: Hope Quinn
Fred: David Alford
Margo: Mary Lucy Bivins
Harry: Zacchaeus Kimbrell

Director: Andrew Hampton Livingston
Set Designer: Hana Goff
Costume Designer: Molly Doan
Lighting Designer: Camille Davis
Sound Designer: Tony Angelini
Wig and Makeup Designer: Whitney Kaibel
Stage Manager: Kristy Goebel

Corporate Sponsors
TruPoint Bank
Farris Funeral Service

Media Sponsors
News Channel 11