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College of DuPage Theater Department presents 'The Ballad of the Sad Cafe'

GLEN ELLYN – Love plays a major theme in the College of DuPage Theater Department's upcoming production of "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe."

"This show explores the power and the powerlessness that can result from falling in love with someone and the devastation it can wreak on people and lives," guest director Brad Lawrence said. "In this show, love is a force of nature. It's like a tornado sweeping through a Kansas town. It wrecks buildings and wrecks lives."

"The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" will be presented from March 2 through 19 in the Studio Theatre of COD's McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. A pre-show discussion with Lawrence and the show's designers is set for 6:45 p.m. March 2.

Tickets are $12 for students and seniors and $14 for adults, available by calling the MAC Box Office at 630-942-4000 or going to McAninch Arts Center's website at

"The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" is based on the novella by Carson McCullers and adapted for the stage by Edward Albee. Lawrence said he hopes those who attend the show are able to apply the show's themes to their own lives.

"I hope they look at the relationships they have in their own lives and examine what role love plays in each of their relationships," he said. "A question that I like to ask is, is it better to love or be loved? A lot of the relationships in this show are very unbalanced. There's a lover, and there is a beloved. And there are definitive power shifts because of that. And I would like audience members to look at their own relationships and examine how that plays out in their own lives."

Lawrence is an adjunct professor of theater at COD.

"I have a soft spot in my heart for academic theater," he said. "It's where I cut my teeth back in the day. I love teaching. I love working with college students because they're open minded and energetic. They are willing to take risks. It's great to get back to that environment when I can."

The students in the production have varying degrees of experience.

"I've got three or four people where this is their first show ever," Lawrence said. "And then I've got a handful of people who are veterans. So much of learning how to be a good actor is watching others do it well, and [being able to] identify why that's so. Acting is certainly not one of those things that you can learn by reading a textbook. You've got to get up on your feet and do it, and watch others do it."


If you go

What: "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe"
When: March 2 through 19
Where: College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn
Cost: $12 for students and seniors and $14 for adults
Info: 630-942-4000,

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