Theater dept. presents fall show ‘Neverwhere’


Photo by Brandon Hamilton

The Theater Department’s latest play, “Neverwhere,” has a 14-member cast with most actors playing multiple roles.

Roxanne Ready and Edgar Salomon

The Theater Department at AACC will perform Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere,” a play filled with magic, beasts and legends, for its fall production.

“Neverwhere” is a fantasy tale set in the London Below, a fictitious underground dystopian town that is invisible to regular people.

The main character, Richard Mayhew, encounters a mysterious woman from this other world and finds himself pulled into a journey of self-discovery.

Sean Urbantke, assistant professor of theater for the performing arts department, said this production “may be [the department’s] most challenging experience yet.”

“[Neverwhere has] location after location, piece after piece, costume change after costume change [and] monsters that come out of hidey-holes,” Urbantke said. “But it’s still a straight play,” not a musical.

The show includes multiple puppets, including a three-person puppet designed by AACC student and set designer Victoria Scherini, and two hand puppets also designed and built by AACC students.

“This show … is like, ’80s fantasy puppet movie right here,” said non-credit student Isabella Lopez, who plays the lead female character, Door. “It’s very [Jim Henson’s] ‘Labyrinth’-y.”

Urbantke said the play is unusual because it has so many elements and locations.
“It’s pretty exciting because it’s a chance for the students to [act in] … this fantasy world, and for the designers to create a fantasy world,” director Dr. AnnMarie Saunders said.

“Neverwhere” has a 14-member cast, with all actors playing multiple roles except for the two leads. The show also relies on five production team members and eight behind-the-scenes crew members.

“There’s a lot of cool stage combat,” said second-year student Grant Scherini, who plays the lead male character Richard Mayhew. “I get the S-H-I-T kicked out of me … I just get beat up so many times. I actually enjoy that so much more than beating people up, because it’s so much fun to make the guttural reactions.”

The show is based on a BBC TV series-turned-novel Gaiman wrote in 1996.

“The TV series is really cheesy, but … the script [for the play] is really, really cool; I like it a lot,” Scherini said.

The Theater Department recommends “Neverwhere” for ages 13 and older. It premiers on Nov. 3 in the Kauffman Theater, and shows again on Nov. 4, 10, 11 and 12.

Tickets start at $5 for AACC students who purchase before Nov. 2, and cost $10 after. Prices for faculty and the public are $15 and $20, respectively.



Photo by Brandon Hamilton
The Theater Department’s latest play, “Neverwhere,” has a 14-member cast with most actors playing multiple roles.