Gallery play explores childhood


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Five years ago, Jessica Foster picked up her pen and began working on a play called One Man’s Trash.

The 27-year-playwright never finished it until she came to the UI from Oakland, Maine, to get an M.F.A. in playwriting. She said once she got settled, the work beckoned to be finished.

“I think I just wanted to tell a good story,” Foster said.

One Man’s Trash will début at 8 p.m. today and run through Nov. 8 in the Theatre Building’s Theatre B. Admission is free for UI students, $5 for nonstudents.

One Man’s Trash is a story of three children who find an old boot on a rundown playground.

Eventually, the kids discover the story of the boot’s owner’s suicide.

Actor Tory Flack, who plays the role of Blair, was first interested in One Man’s Trash because of the jovial atmosphere of the play and characters.

“We’re constantly playing and having fun and developing,” the 22-year-old theater major said. “As adults, we don’t get to talk like children do. It’s been so much fun to tell myself that it’s OK to act like a kid again. With other callbacks, there is a lot of pressure with doing things right, and with One Man’s Trash, I didn’t really feel a lot of pressure.”

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Andy Lisle, playing the part of Ron, had a similar viewpoint.

“I like it, because I’m just able to tell a story or convey a message to a large number of people [as an actor],” Lisle said.

While she was writing One Man’s Trash, Foster envisioned how the play would appear on a stage, not just as straight reading.

“I just wanted the story to unfold as I worked on it,” she said. “We [cast and crew members] just found moments in the rehearsal room that were interesting.”

Foster noted that there are always changes that could be made with a play. But it is impossible to decide what needs to be changed, she said, until the audience is the judge.

She is proud of the direction the play has gone, she said.

“We found the story, and we found a way to tell the story in an interesting way,” she said. “I think this is what the play wanted to be.”

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