‘Evelyn in Purgatory’ is ‘Breakfast Club’ for teachers

“Evelyn in Purgatory,” by Topher Payne, is playing in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc., it is the Department of Theatre and Film’s first main stage production of the 2016-17 season.

Directed by Cynthia Stroud, theatre and film, the production is set in a windowless, forgotten office deep in the Department of Education building in New York City. Teacher Evelyn Reid, played by Laura Hohman, a sophomore theater major from Sandusky, has been sent to the “reassignment center,” only to find out fellow teachers have been waiting for months or even years for their cases to work their way through the bureaucratic system. Teachers report to the center every day until the case is resolved and sit anxiously awaiting their fate.

Other characters in the play are Candace Metzger (Sarah Drummer, a junior theater major from Los Angeles), the proctor in the room who has the most power and the fewest qualifications; Lila Wadkins (Kelly Dunn, a sophomore theater major from Avon Lake), the calm, maternal voice of reason and the art teacher everyone wishes they had; Toby Fleming (Jarod Mariani, a master’s student in theater from Sandusky), a young, 20-ish, quiet, passive-aggressive geek; Fred Disalvo (George Ramirez, a junior theater major from Flushing, N.Y.), a gym teacher from Hell’s Kitchen, back when that meant something; Roberta Burke (Nicole Tuttle, a senior theater major from LaGrange, Ohio), the self-appointed queen of all she surveys, and Atwood (Mackenzie Baumhower, a senior theater major from Genoa, Ohio), the head of the disciplinary panel.

Performances of “Evelyn in Purgatory” are at 8 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 27), Friday (Oct. 28) and Saturday (Oct. 29), and at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets in advance are $15 for adults and $5 for students. Purchases are available online, by calling 419-372-8171 or in person at the Wolfe Center for the Arts box office, which is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All tickets at the door are $20. Parking is free on campus on weeknights after 7:30 p.m. and on weekends.