Rocket Man to enter new dimension in FHSU theatre

Hot on the trail of the well-received musical Gypsy, Fort Hays State University's theater production of Rocket Man will blast into Felten-Start Theatre Nov. 18.

Rocket Man, written by Steven Dietz, follows the story of Donny Rowan, played by Cody Hughes, Leoti graduate student. Rowan is a failed architect with an ex-wife and an estranged teenage daughter. Tired of his life, Rowan places all of his material possessions on his front lawn with a sign that reads: "Here's my life. Make an offer." He sits in an E-Z boy recliner staring at the stars from his attic and trying to find his parallel world, where he believes his life is different.

" For me, I can just tell you that it?s about, in some ways, mid-life crisis," said Michael Hogwood, instructor of communication studies and director. "Since we're doing it with college students, we're not really focusing on that; we're focusing more on the questioning of regret. I think that everybody can relate to that -- looking back on the things we've done and wondering the age-old question of 'what-if.' This play gives this person opportunity to go back and kind of explore and take a different road and a different situation in his life.?

While Rocket Man has a more somber mood than Gypsy, Hogwood described the play about the road not taken as a "serious comedy."

" Being human, we can't help but be both funny and tragic at the same time. All of our lives are full of comedy and tragedy and are mixed," he said. "Some of the things that will happen in the play are humorous and some of the things that will happen in the play are tragic. It's just an interesting mix of both things because it's very human."

Hogwood said the play also has spiritual undertones, but refrains from coming off "too preachy."

" I think that this play is something people can walk away from and talk about and think about, as opposed to once it's over, it's over. It'll stay with them," he said.

Rocket Man opens Thursday, Nov. 18, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 21. Thursday, Friday and Saturday showings will start at 8 p.m. and the Sunday show will be at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets for the play are $8 for students and $10 for the public. The box office can be contacted at (785) 628-4225.

Students taking part in the production are listed below by hometown and classification.
CONCORDIA: Katie Jones, senior.
CUNNINGHAM: Mario Lozoya, sophomore.
GARDNER: Pete Hardy, senior.
LEOTI: Hughes.
GREELEY: Krystal Baugher, sophomore.
HAYS: Alicia Giersch, senior; Luke Fairbank, freshman; Rachel Hogwood, special student; and Stefanie Stevens, freshman.
MCDONALD: John Simmonds, freshman.
RUSSELL: Angela Goddard, junior; and Krystal Krug, sophomore.
SALINA: Nick Hulstine, sophomore; and Chris Tucker, senior.

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Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |