GSC PRESENTS "THE DINING ROOM" - A Window Into Relationships And Family

By Drew Moody

During 18 fast-paced vignettes, 51 characters provide a glimpse into conversations that, especially during an earlier time in American culture, would have likely occurred in the dining room.

The play portrays family conflict, said director Dennis Wemm, communications professor at Glenville State College. "... ordinary people being heroic, and ordinary people being sad losers - and sometimes it's the same person."

Whitney Stalnaker, seated, in the role of a daughter asks
her father if she can move back home. Zack Cyriacks, playing
the father, isn't sympathetic to his daughter's problems

Photos by Drew Moody

A cast of seven, including four freshman, handled all the roles.

Wemm said it was the most consistent cast he has worked with for a long time.

By the day of the final performance last week, there was a 'buzz' about the play around the GSC campus.

Interestingly, only one of the cast members was 'old enough' to remember how important a dining room used to be to the American family.

For others, such as English professor Wayne deRosset, seeing the play revived childhood memories. Not being familiar with the script, he was surprised how the actors were able to pull him into the scenes, creating an interest in the characters.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the play," deRosset said. "It was an excellent production.

Edmond White, as a visiting nephew so offends his
aunt, played by Ryan Konarske, she boots him out

Even the simple stage construction - a room without walls - focused the audience's attention on the actors.

The audience is whisked through conversations between grandparents and grandchildren, a man coming home to announce he must defend the family's honor, girls cautiously getting into a liquor cabinet, a maid and her employer, a woman whose life is falling apart pleads with her father to allow her to move back home, and a father talking with his son about funeral arrangements ... to name a few.

Freshman members of the cast were Whitney Stalnaker, Edmond White, Sarah Sivard and Ryan Konarske. Stalnaker and Sivard are local residents with previous theatrical experience. Stalnaker has been working with the GSC theater department since she was 13. White, acting in his second play, is from Webster County. Konarske, of Spencer, was previously in three high school productions.

Rounding out the cast are Josh Ellison, of Clay County, who has been involved in most GSC productions over the past five years. Zack Cyriacks, of Braxton County, has appeared previously in two productions. Lois Miller, an employee of Glenville State College, has appeared in many local performances since 1982.