BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College Theatre Department will conclude its 2018-19 season with a production of Christopher Durang’s Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them.

Performances are scheduled for April 25, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m., and April 28 at 2 p.m. in Wailes Theatre, located in Steinman Hall on the Bethany College campus.

Durang’s award-winning, acerbic wit is on full display in this twisted tale. Written in 2009, this dark comedy draws laughs out of some of the most controversial issues of our time: Islamophobia, date-rape, gun culture, the “deep state”, the alarming rise of suicides in the audiences of high-brow British plays, and whether French Toast should be called Freedom Toast?

Waking up in a hotel room after an intoxicated night of wild sex, Felicity (Savannah Fisher of Kidron, Ohio) is alarmed to learn she’s now married to Zamir (Kerry Kerr of Lawrenceville, Ga.), who says they met at Hooters. Zamir insists he’s Irish, but Felicity begins to suspect the unemployed, potentially violent stranger may be a terrorist who slipped her a date-rape drug.

Felicity takes Zamir to suburban New Jersey to meet her parents. Her mother, Luella (Yasmeene Henderson of Pittsburgh, Pa.), pleasantly yammers, and her father, Leonard (Elias Stebbins of Washington, Pa.), pulls a gun on him repeatedly.

More absurd misunderstandings arise: Leonard’s fellow operative in a covert government unit, Hildegarde (Aubree Gray of Moundsville, W.Va.), overhears talk of the “Big Bang,” a porn movie for which minister/filmmaker Rev. Mike (Mike Lyons of Beaver Falls, Pa.) has recruited Zamir. Leonard is convinced the “The Big Bang” is code for a terrorist attack. With the help of Looney Tunes (Keith Hardt of Bethany, W.Va.), Leonard proceeds to torture Zamir into a confession. Meanwhile, with the help of “The Voice” (John Sadar of Dillonvale, Ohio), Felicity tries to keep the unhinged violence from escalating by restarting the story.

Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them is under the direction of Luke Hardt, Director of Bethany College Theatre, and Assistant Director, Sierra Mortimer of Weirton, W.Va. Though wacky and satirical, the play depicts some disturbing situations that may not be suitable to all viewers. Admission is free or by donation. For more information or reservations, call (304) 829-7124.

About Bethany College

Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.