Western Michigan University students will perform the play Fuddy Meers starting Thursday. Fuddy Meers is about a middle aged woman named Claire who has a type of amnesia where she forgets everything that happened the night before.
Director Mark Liermann says the play is fascinating to watch because the audience gets to piece together the puzzle of Claire’s past along with her.
"We kind of experience her day through her because she doesn't know her past as we don't," says Liermann. "So, we kind of learn about her and her life and what happens to her through these kind of kooky characters that are her family."
Western student Emily Osborn plays Claire.
"She's kind of like an Etch A Sketch in that way. She has something one day, but then it’s all gone when she wakes up,” Osborn says. “She’s really actually desperate to find out what happened to her and who she is, but then she’s got this beautiful sunny outlook.”
Ali Shea plays the role of Gertie, Claire’s mother who recently had a stroke and cannot form sentences very well.
“I [Gertie] can’t use really any words that I’m saying to express what I’m trying to tell people and all of this information that I have is just completely going out the window,” Shea says. “So, for me, I feel like there is just this constant chasing everyone around trying to get them to understand and they’re just like ‘Sorry, we have no idea what you’re saying.’”
The Limping Man will be played by Jared Jarvis.
“He [the limping man] was just a regular, normal guy. But ever since two years ago, he gets bacon grease poured into his right ear, scalding hot bacon grease. He ends up deaf in his right ear, has this huge scar across his face. He’s blind in his right eye. He has a lisp,” Jarvis continues. “And he has a limp, hence the limping man.”
Though the Limping Man is a very aggressive person, Jarvis says he has a soft spot for Claire. The Limping Man has many quirky conversations with his henchman Millet throughout the play. Director Mark Liermann says Millet seems to be one of the craziest characters at the start of the play, an old man with a rebellious hand puppet.
Fuddy Meers isn’t just a quirky comedy, Liermann says the play covers some pretty serious topics—like how we deal with hurtful truths.
“In my opinion what the play is addressing is this question of what do we tell each other,” says Liermann. “Is it better to tell the truth or is it better to not tell the truth and live kind of in this happy world? And that’s kind of one of the themes of the play that at the end comes off. What is better?”
The play may not answer that question for the audience, but one thing is for sure, both Claire and the audience will find out that not everyone in the play is who they seem. You can see WMU's production of Fuddy Meers at the university’s York Theatre starting Thursday.