McDaniel College Theatre presents Neil LaBute’s “Fat Pig,” March 5 through March 8 at 7:30 p.m. in WMC Alumni Hall. LaBute is known for his satirical twisted morality plays, including “Some Girl(s), The Shape of Things,” and “reasons to be pretty,” and screenplays, including “In the Company of Men,” “Possession,” and “The Wicker Man.”
Cow. Slob. Pig. How many insults can you hear before you have to stand up and defend the woman you love? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be plus sized-and then some. Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow (although shockingly funny) friends, he finally comes to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks. Neil LaBute's sharply drawn play not only critiques our slavish adherence to Hollywood ideals of beauty but also boldly questions our own ability to change what we dislike about ourselves.
LaBute wrote “Fat Pig” hoping that the play would be understood as more than a satire of modern humanity battling the accepted stereotypical standards of good looks. “That element is just the surface,” he explains. “It’s really a study in weakness, a play about Tom’s journey. Helen is the most centered character onstage. I want to know if Tom can rise above himself, if he can reconcile his public and private selves. Can he be honest? Can he be truthful? It’s an examination of what it means to love.”
The production is directed by senior theatre arts student Kiera Gillock. The four-person cast includes McDaniel students Alissa Beckett, Najee Banks, Craig Corlis, and Nia Gipson.
Gillock chose the show for its power and wit. "Social pressure is felt by everyone,” she says. “Some people embrace it, others question it, and those who are pushed on the outer rims of acceptance walk a fine line of contentment and degradation. While Helen tries to ease her fears about the honesty of their relationship, Tom struggles to face the ridicule of his coworkers. Each character grapples with reconciling themselves in the image-conscious world in which they find themselves. The universal strife is particularly relevant to college students, who face some of the strongest social pressure in a world run by media and peer relations. Neil LaBute has found a very funny, thought-provoking way of looking at these issues."
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, students, and the McDaniel College community. For more information, call the box office at 410-857-2448.
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