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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Last modified: Wednesday, June 23, 2010

IU's Brown County Playhouse presents 'The Nerd,' a comedy set in Terre Haute, Ind., opening July 9

Randy White of Bloomington's Cardinal Stage Company to direct

WHAT: The Nerd, written by Larry Shue, directed by Randy White.
WHEN: Opens Friday, July 9, at 8 p.m. with additional performances July 9-11, 14-17, 21-24, 28-31 at 8 p.m.; July 11, 17-18, 24-25, 31 and Aug. 1 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: All performances take place at the Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren, Nashville, Ind.
TICKETS: $22 regular admission and $15 for children and students. Flex Vouchers, four ticket vouchers for the price of three: $44-$64. For ticket information, group rates, or to order flex vouchers call the IU Auditorium at 812-855-1103 or Brown County Playhouse at 812-988-2123, or get details and buy online at

June 23, 2010

NASHVILLE, Ind. -- Indiana University's Brown County Playhouse continues its 62nd season of live theater in Nashville with Larry Shue's The Nerd, opening on Friday, July 9.

The production will feature a cast composed of several Master of Fine Arts in acting students from IU and professional guest artist James Krag, whose credits include appearances on "ER" and "Prison Break" and the films Mercury Rising and While You Were Sleeping. The production is directed by the artistic director of Cardinal Stage Company, Randy White.

The Nerd

The Nerd is an inventive comedy set in Terre Haute, Ind., centering on the hilarious dilemma of a young architect who is visited by a hopelessly inept "nerd" he's never met before -- but who happened to save his life. The Milwaukee Journal dubs The Nerd "... a neatly crafted package that uses some classic comic forms to bring the audience to its knees, laughing," while Variety wrote of the show that "the audience almost never stops laughing."

Several new names join the production alongside some Brown County Playhouse veterans. Just days after closing his run in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the playhouse, Henry A. McDaniel III begins this production alongside a castmate from last year's Present Laughter, Abby Rowold. Three other IU MFA in acting students leave the Lee Norvelle stages to make their Brown County Playhouse debuts: Molly Casey (The Clean House, Marat/Sade), Alex McCausland (The Clean House, Marat/Sade) and Jaysen Wright (As You Like It, Take Me Out).

Rounding out the cast, also making their debuts at the playhouse, are local sixth-grader Benjamin Johnson and guest artist Jim Krag, a Chicago native who has appeared in all the major Windy City theaters, the Purple Rose Theatre in Michigan and the New York premiere of Burn This alongside John Malkovich and Joan Allen. Krag has appeared in TV shows such as "ER," "Dharma and Greg,""Prison Break" and "Early Edition" and in the films Mercury Rising, Missing Persons and While You Were Sleeping, among others.

White makes his Brown County Playhouse directorial debut. He describes The Nerd as "exquisite, a very well-written play -- a play about grabbing the bull by the horns" with people who "take advantage of their lives." He describes the characters as "flailing desperately, finding what they want in life." White said he loves to work on farce, though it's a challenge: "It's as hard as theater gets." White is also pleased to build upon Cardinal's relationship with the IU Department of Theatre and Drama. "We are all building a bigger tide. The more theater there is, the greater the benefit for all of us."

Also working on his first show at the playhouse is scenic designer Tim Barbiaux. The Nerd will feature costumes by Angie Burkhardt, who also has worked extensively with Cardinal Stage, and a lighting design by IU alumna and Baylor University faculty member Jojo Percy. Sound design is by Andrew Hopson, IU assistant professor of sound design.