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Theater students get ‘Cuckoo’ over the weekend

Troy Loftin Headshot

Troy Loftin’s play “Cuckoo” premiered last weekend and was a collaborative work between he and other theater students. Photo courtesy of Troy Loftin.

Every year, a student playwright in the School of Theater and Dance is selected to produce their own original full-length play to be a part of the theater performance season.

This year, playwright and dramaturgy BFA senior Troy Loftin was chosen to showcase his sexy farce “Cuckoo.” His play ran Friday through Sunday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. 

“Cuckoo” follows an eventful night of a typical, conventional family that suddenly turns into a hilarious disaster. While Patrick and Joan Brisby welcome a gigolo, or male escort, to help enliven their love life, their teenage daughter plans an erotic night of her own.

Cuckoo” was appropriately titled, considering the constant roller coaster of hilariously ludicrous situations that surround the characters.

Troy’s idea for the unique farce was presented to some of UH’s playwriting professors last year.

“We talked on and off about the concept, ideas and characters. I knew that it was something special and that I wanted to be part of the process, no matter the capacity,” lead actress and acting BFA sophomore Casey Magin said.

After it was selected for production by professor Rob Shimko and UH distinguished visiting professor of playwriting Theresa Rebeck, everyone from the cast members to the set designers contributed their ideas.

From late summer nights spent discussing the characters to furthering the development of the show early this year, every cast member contributed pieces to the play’s puzzle. 

“Everyone had something important and valuable to offer, so we all just made sure that we brought that to every rehearsal,” Magin said.

Tickets quickly sold out, so there were high hopes for the show’s expected turn out. Considering a portion of the audience had no idea what to expect based on the title, an odd play poster and description, they were not disappointed come time for the performance.

“The poster looked very intriguing, so I decided why not,” biomedical engineering freshman Nimra Khwaja said. “I think the playwright did a really good job of making his play comedic, because every little joke came together and made me laugh.”

Loftin’s script was filled with numerous witticisms along with well-incorporated references to popular literary works, such as Lord of the Rings and Homer’s “The Odyssey.”

“You could feel the energy really well,” Loftin said after the Friday night show. “Most importantly, I think the cast was having fun, and that’s what we aim for every night.”

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