What is a nerd who wants to leave the hills of Appalachia to attend MIT to do? Burnish the extra curricular activities section of his resume by playing football! In this play by retired Evansville Courier & Press writer Garret Mathews, he can actually make the team because the Keoke (Virginia) High School Coal Diggers have only 22 players.
Tommy, the aspiring MIT student, brings along fellow brainiac Archie to meet with the coach in the locker room before practice, and they both end up learning more than they expected from this foray beyond the science lab.
James Banta, a Ball State Theater program graduate, brings Tommy to life, while Gerard Seig, a Noblesville high-school student, is a stand-out as Archie. Connor Hulett, who plays a student who works in the mines, is also realistic. But Meredith Granger, who plays the Tootsie Pop-peddling coach, steals every scene and the audience’s hearts.
The show is appropriate for all audiences but I would recommend bringing only those nine and above as it might not hold the interest of younger children. Barking Signals (badly) is on Stage II at Theater on the Square, and you can still catch shows Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 6, Wednesday at 9, Saturday at 3 and the final show is Sunday at 3.
— Judy Kenninger