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Friday, January 15, 2021

Play performed in memory of cast member

The Los Angeles Pierce College (LAPC) Theater’s spring production of “Incorruptible” opened quickly and kept up the pace throughout the show with its energetic action, snappy jokes and capable cast.

The play, written by Michael Hollinger and directed by Pierce College instructor Valorie Grear, is dedicated to the memory of cast member Dana Craig who died “quietly in his home” according to the program, one week before opening night.

William Walsh filled Craig’s role of Charles, abbot of the church, with one week to prepare.

“Dana Craig, who was doing the part, died on Thursday a week ago. So we mourned him on that day and on the next day Valorie asked if I thought I could do it, and I said I’d try,” Walsh said. “I tried out for it but she [Grear] chose Dana, and she chose my wife to play the nun, Sister Agatha. I was driving my wife here so I had seen her scene done a lot and I had worked with her on her scene but I didn’t know the rest of the play.”

Walsh handled the role proficiently and combined well with the rest of the cast, which was vital to the material as many of the jokes relied on crisp delivery. The chemistry went beyond the cast and the audience was very receptive with frequent and genuine laughs.

Brian Park, a 20-year-old mechanical engineering major at Pierce, was in the audience.

“I thought it was very well made. There was an instant connection from actor to audience,” Park said. “It just constantly kept me interested and laughing and it was very light on a very touchy subject.”

Taylor LeClere played one-eyed minstrel Jack in his first Pierce College production and was grateful for this opening night audience.

“The energy was really good. We had an unbelievable audience. That’s lucky,” LeClere said. “Sometimes you get people that don’t laugh, but everybody was cracking up and it gives you an energy on stage. It kind of ups the tempo I think for everybody.”

The set was well crafted and particularly impressive during a few significant moments in the story with some effective lighting, courtesy of assistant professor and department chair Michael Gend, which served to intensify those scenes.

The production will continue next weekend, April 4-6, with 8 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday. Tickets are $12 for students and $15 for general admission and can be purchased by calling 818-719-6488 or by visiting brownpapertickets.com/event/601583.

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