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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Stephen+Cloud%2C+Bethany+Rand+and+Sabrina+Ramirez+will+play+Paul+Sheldon%2C+Annie+Wilkes+and+Buster+respectively.+%28Blake+Wolf%2FThe+Collegian%29
Stephen Cloud, Bethany Rand and Sabrina Ramirez will play Paul Sheldon, Annie Wilkes and Buster respectively. (Blake Wolf/The Collegian)

University Theatre to feature horror play ‘Misery’

Stephen King’s “Misery” will be the University Theatre’s second production of the 2022-23 season.

The screenplay, written by William Goldman, is based on King’s novel of the same name and was made even more famous by the 1990 film starring Kathy Bates. Fresno State’s take,  directed by Thomas-Whit Ellis, will be a Fresno premiere that kicks off on Oct. 28 and runs through Nov. 5.

The play revolves around a romance author, Paul Sheldon, who gets into a car accident and wakes to find himself in the care and at the mercy of a volatile woman who kidnapped and trapped him in her property.

Stephen Cloud, who will be portraying Sheldon, shared his excitement for the opportunity to work with Ellis. 

“I was a former student who always kept in touch. It’s an honor to return. It brings back a lot of fun memories,” Cloud said. “He’s an amazing director. He’s got an eye for movement, and he’s cinematic in the way he moves actors.”

Fresno State brought Cloud in as a guest artist.

Cloud, who was formerly on “Days of Our Lives” on NBC and worked with actors like Michael Madsen, talked about sharing his experience with the younger cast members.

“When you’re dealing with other artists, everyone’s trying to find their own path to get there. You might know how to get there quicker, but you have to do it while they find their own way,” Cloud said.

The cast also includes Bethany Rand, who will play the role of Annie Wilkes.

Sabrina Ramirez, a senior at Fresno State, will make her acting debut in this production as Buster, a sheriff of Sidewinder, Colorado, where the story takes place. 

“I’m really excited, honestly,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t think it was gonna be this demanding because I am a third character.”

Ramirez also talked about the difficulties of juggling her three jobs along with school and acting. Recently, she had to put in her two-weeks notice at one job in order to make time to prepare for the play.

“I have a total of three jobs, and I’m a full-time student. I probably get about three hours of sleep,” Ramirez said. “My opening night will be my last day at Starbucks, which I think will give me some time to breathe and then go forth with the shows and not be so exhausted.”

She said she is particularly excited to finally be able to act onstage and use props to bring her character to life. 

“I’m like a backroom person. I do a lot of designing [and now] I have knee pads. I’m gonna hit hard on the ground,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez shared the same sentiment as Cloud regarding Ellis’ eye for actors and movement. She expressed her hopes to audition for Ellis’ film class for her last semester.

In an interview with the College of Arts and Humanities blog regarding the production of “Misery,” Ellis emphasized his excitement to direct this production.

“I jumped at the chance to do one of [Stephen King’s] most iconic works set to stage,” Ellis said. “The production provides unique and engaging opportunities for our student actors, designers and stage managers. As an added bonus, this production falls right in the middle of the Halloween season, a perfect time for this thrilling play from the master of horror himself.”

Tickets are available online at the Department of Theatre and Dance’s website. Tickets are $17 for general admission, $15 for faculty, staff, seniors, military and alumni and $10 for students.

Tickets are also available at the ticket booth in the Speech Arts Building. 

Audiences are advised that the production will include flashing lights, haze, and use prop blood and prop firearms. Due to its gory content, no one under the age of 13 will be admitted. 

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