By Caitlin Knox ‘14
Who killed Lord Grabbit? Was it the butler in the library with the gun? Or the cook in the study with the rope?
Thanks to Georgetown College senior Shannon Brunk, these questions will be answered in the Western-hemisphere premiere of “Over My Dead Body” on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon (Feb. 3-4) in the College’s Wilson Lab Theatre. This British murder mystery has only been performed in Europe, initially in London.
The play was discovered by Shannon, a Theatre Performance major from Lexington, who only has one thing standing between her and graduation: senior show. Students pursuing a unique degree like Theatre have the option of performing in a show or directing one. Shannon Brunk chose the latter. The Theatre department will assess her work, and decide if she is worthy of receiving her degree.
“Over My Dead Body,” written by Pat Baker, attracted Shannon because of its British humor, scandalous plot and 1920’s setting. “I wanted to choose a comedy and found this one to be a perfect balance of great characters and light fun,” she said.
As director of her own show, Shannon got to choose her dream cast – including junior Elizabeth Maines, a Scott County native. She will play Daphne, a spoiled heiress demanding constant attention. “I jumped at the opportunity to play someone who is the complete opposite of myself,” she said.
Shannon also tapped Heather Hunnicutt, GC’s Music Department chair and advisor to the Lyric Theatre Society (LTS), who plays a lower class cook with a Cockney accent; the butler Mike Crocetti, a retired Lexmark employee who’s had roles with Lexington Children’s Theatre, Woodford County Theatre and Georgetown Community Theatre; novice Michael Foster, a family friend from Cynthiana who plays Daphne’s fiance in his first acting role; and Francis Nelson, a former GC student who plans to return but is now working at ACS and taking classes at UK.
Shannon has found directing a show has many challenges. “I am responsible for the set, costumes, blocking and cast,” said Shannon, who has benefitted from stage managing College productions like “Secret Marriage” and Opera Musical Theatre Workshop.
For “OMDB” she has former LTS star Sable Floyd Snyder ’11 as her stage manager. Sable is teaching music at Cassidy Elementary in Lexington and pursuing her Masters in Education.
Designing and constructing costumes is a great skill that Shannon is an old hand at, having worked with her mother (Candy Brunk) since sixth grade, through Lexington Lafayette High (an ’07 SCAPA graduate in Voice) and now Georgetown College. For this show, Shannon’s half-sister, Elizabeth Vincelli, and Elizabeth Maines assisted. Dr. Hunnicutt has already appealed to the mother-daughter for costuming help this spring for the popular musical revue known as “OpShop.”
The Very Alive Body known as Shannon Brunk hopes a packed house will find her senior show “worthy.” Performances in the College’s Ruth Pearce Wilson Lab Theatre are 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3 and 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4.
Tickets at the door are $5 for adults, $15 for a family of 3-5 people, and $3 for students and children under 3-15. Young children are not encouraged to attend due to inappropriate content (this play would be considered PG-13). Or you may reserve tickets via e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 859-230-2578.