The Crowder College Theatre Department will kick off their 2013-2014 season with a sentimental comedy, set to open tonight.

Five Crowder College students form the cast of "Sylvia", a play that follows the life of a middle-aged New York couple and the story of what the addition of a stray dog does to their relationship.

The play is rated PG-13 for strong language and a few strong scenes.

"It's funny but it's also sentimental," said Drew Fethers, head of the college's theatre department and the play's director.
"Sylvia" was written by A.R. Gurney.

The story's namesake, a stray dog named Sylvia who finds her way into the home of Greg and Kate, is played by Crowder student Tiffany Hammill.

Greg, played by Brandon Hall, meets Sylvia in the park one day and brings her home, against the wishes of his wife, Kate, who is portrayed by Karrin Daugherty.

The play also includes Kate's friend, Phyllis, played by Amber Brumley and Tom, who Greg meets while taking Sylvia to the park.

Crowder student Zaq Ezell plays the part of Tom.

Fethers said the show is set in the mid-1990s.

"He brings Sylvia home and Sylvia kind of stirs things up in their relationship," Fethers said. "It kind of just either goes uphill from there or downhill, as they figure out how to all live together. They have some fights and some quarrels and they do have some bonding."

Fethers said he selected the production because it was in their theatre library and he had seen it a few years ago.
He said the play also fits the type the Crowder Theatre Department is presenting this year, those with a smaller cast and set.

"We're doing smaller shows this year," Fethers said. "We had a lot of our majors graduate last year, we didn't know who was going to be here this year, so we just decided to do smaller themed shows this year. Everything we did last year was huge."

Fethers said because of the strong language and a couple of strong scenes he recommends the play to those high-school aged and older.

Fethers said the show is approximately two hours in length, with an intermission.

The play kicks off at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Elsie Plaster Community Center on the Crowder College campus.

The show continues Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and there will also be a matinee showing at 2 p.m. Saturday.

General admission tickets are $8, tickets for Crowder College staff and students are $4 and senior citizens' tickets are $5.