Theatre Guild debuts ‘Boys Next Door’

The cast of “The Boys Next Door.” Media Relations/Courtesy photo

Students of the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre Guild are excited to perform their next upcoming show “The Boys Next Door.”  

After performing their successful show, “August: Osage County” the theatre guild is prepared to put on another show. 

Michael Scott is one of the few cast members from the previous show who decided to come back to perform once more. 

“It has been really smooth with the cast,” Scott said. “Everyone gets along well, and everyone is very cooperative and respectful to one another.” 

The show is a comedy about four guys with mental illness living with each other who are not afraid of sharing what the world looks like through their eyes. 

Scott stars as a father  to one of the boys and shares his transition from being a sheriff to being an abusive father.  

“I pretty much studied older narcissistic, angry men, and films such as ‘Daddy’s Little Girls’, ‘IT’, etcetera,” Scott said. “The most challenging thing is being viewed as an abusive father to a son with a mental disorder.”

This show is not only bringing in familiar faces from previous shows, it is also welcoming newcomers who are interested and passionate about performing arts.  

Laurencia Brooks is one of the newcomers performing her first show at GSU. 

“Working with the cast has been a one in a lifetime experience,” Brooks said. “It really feels like a family. I love my theatre fam!”

Another returning actor from the previous show “August: Osage County” is Artemio Schofield, a senior at Grambling State University, who currently serves as President of the Floyd L. Sandle Theatre Guild. 

Schofield has been performing at Grambling since his freshman year and he expresses his long passion in the arts. 

“Working with this cast has been very different,” Schofield said. “Mainly because half the cast are people that I have just finished a show with, and whom I have created an incredible bond with. The other half of the cast are people I have never met until the auditions. So it made things a little awkward at first, but eventually, everyone started to get along and bond as expected.” 

According to Schofield,  his role in “The Boys Next Door” is different compared to the previous roles he has played. For him, it is easier to just jump straight into the character without thinking, or stressing about it too much, allowing whatever improvements he needs to take place. 

“The most challenging thing for me with this show was stepping out of my comfort zone,” Schofield said. “I was not comfortable playing someone who is mentally challenged because I felt like I would be making a joke out of my character for personal issues. So I had to look at it from different points of view to understand that I am actually trying to convey a message and not make a joke out of something so serious.”

Within every show, there is always a message behind the show that the students try to share with the audience.  

“I think the lesson is not to judge  anyone by what you see,”  Brooks said. “Just because people are different does not make ostracize them, it makes them unique.” 

The show stars Jackson Featherstone as Jack, Joshua Burley as Arnold,  Llonte Harrison as Lucien P. Smith, Artemio Schofield as Norman, Marvin Moore as Barry, Michael Scott III as Mr. Klemper, Laurencia Brooks as Sheila, Andrea Burks as Clara, Erica Sears as Mrs. Fremus, David Campbell as Mr. Corbin, Ja’Keem Smith as Mr. Hedges, Marcus Hepburn as Mr. Clarke and Adaiah Hudson as Mrs. Warren along with the great contribution of the understudies Isaiah Bass, Tony Wright, and Tyler Randall. 

“The Boys Next Door”, directed by Kyle Zimmerman, will be showing Nov. 19-22.