On opening night, dozens of people poured into the Snow Black Box Theatre to see the BYU-Idaho Department of Theatre and Dance present “Talley’s Folly,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that stages two people falling in love in real-time.
The show was performed Nov. 21-23 but will pause during the Thanksgiving break and return Dec. 4-6.
“It’s comedic, dramatic and everything is quite beautiful,” said Kirsten Smith, a senior studying theatre arts.
“Talley’s Folly,” according to the playbill, presents a story of finding beauty, tearing down walls, discovering individualism and overcoming intolerance through symbolism and romance.
With fireflies flitting about the audience, riverboats teetering on the stage and fog filling the theatre as a brass band plays somewhere across the river, the show takes the audience into an abandoned Victorian boathouse where two people — who make up the entire cast — fall in love.
“I really enjoyed the whole thing, the character interaction,” said Jonathan Wach, a junior studying history education. “I really liked seeing two people start off so very differently, and then they kind of break down their own walls and just talk to each other. I thought it was very human — very good to watch.”
Smith, who is also the production stage manager, said that the majority of the workload goes to the actors. “Talley’s Folly” is a ninety-seven-minute show, paced entirely by the lead man’s watch, with fifty pages of script between only two actors.
“They’ve been working their tail-ends off to make sure that this production goes smoothly and that they have their lines down,” Smith said. “It’s a lot for just two people to handle.”
Because it is ‘a lot to handle’ the show has been double-cast. On one night, Maia Spears and Joshua Sevy perform, while on the next Matt Daly and Emma Welch take the stage.
While “Talley’s Folly” is advertised as a drama, there are also many comedic moments.
“Both opening nights have been great,” Smith laughed. “The audience laughs more than I anticipated, but I’ve heard the jokes fifteen million times by now so that might be why.”
But onstage tears also accompany the laughter as “Talley’s Folly” follows the tragedies of World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.
“I hope that people come and see the show and allow themselves to be a little more open with those around them and be open to the morals that this play has to share,” Smith said. “It is very touching; it’s very raw. It’s two people admitting their biggest fears and insecurities about themselves.”
The show is in high demand, as the first three nights completely sold out, with a standby ticket line running out the door.
“We will definitely recommend this to our friends — if there are still tickets,” Rushton said with Wach, her boyfriend. “We were very lucky to get tickets tonight, actually.”
Tickets are $3 for BYU-Idaho students and $6 for the general public. For a complete list of showtimes and to purchase tickets online, visit byui.edu/tickets. Tickets are also available for purchase at the University Store Ticket Office or by calling 208-496-3170.