Eugene Morris Jerome had three goals during World War II: losing his virginity, falling in love and not getting killed.
This is the story of “Biloxi Blues,” the latest production by SC4’s Theatre Discipline.
The play was performed in the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. Originally written by Neil Simon, it was directed at SC4 by Tom Kephart, an adjunct instructor of theatre discipline in the SC4 Visual and Performing Arts Department.
The play starts out on a train to Biloxi, Mississippi, where a group of army recruits are making their way to basic training. After which, they will most likely be shipped out to the Pacific to fight the Japanese, or to Europe to deal with the Germans.
Eugene Morris Jerome, played by SC4 sophomore Patrick Willis, begins with a commentary of what is happening. Eugene’s inner monologue is consistent throughout the story, and is explained by his aspiration to be a writer and him documenting events in his journal as they happen.
This is where I think SC4’s student actors shine; Willis’ portrayal of Eugene makes the audience truly relate to him through the ups and downs of the story. Adding a slightly “awkward teenager” twist on the recruit and the way his bunk mates interact with him adds depth to the story, as well as making it entertaining for me and the rest of the audience.
Eugene faces many trials in boot camp, such as the recruit’s “old military” Sgt. Merwin J. Toomey, played by SC4 sophomore Robert Croy, begins to cause drama in the barracks.
As mentioned before Eugene continues to commentate on the events, along with documenting them, in his trusty journal.
Croy’s amazing adaptation of Sgt. Toomey blew me away as he delivered his first few lines. Calling for “Attention!” in a southern accent and the way he carried himself made the character believable, and even slightly intimidating.
Overall the “Biloxi Blues” SC4 production was one I would attend again. The story kept me entertained and the actors made the experience come full circle.
The SC4 Theatre Disipline will be performing their next play “Wit” by Margaret Edson, March 21 through 24. I highly recommend attending, and will be sure to make it out myself, and see the theatre talent SC4 has at the next production.