HSU Theatre Opens with a Chimpanzee Named Trevor


Down Center Stage in Van Ellis Theatre the rehearsals for the student-directed showTrevor—the first production of the season—are going on in full swing.  Inspired by true events, this dark comedy follows the story of a 200lb chimpanzee named Trevor and his owner, Sandra, as they face life, love, loss, and the reality of humanity together.

Edna Gill, senior musical theatre major, who plays Sandra, says that, “I think it raises a lot of interesting questions about animals in captivity, and as someone who loves animals, it’s interesting to see the point of view of that animal.”  She laughs, thinks for a minute, then continues, “Theatre is important on campus, but also everywhere, because it can touch people’s lives and open your eyes to certain things.  It can expand your world and expose you to culture and enlighten you to different ideas.”

The play itself explores such themes as the harmful consequences of good intentions, society’s interferences, and the bonds of a family—regardless of species.  It is written with a brilliant and dry wit and heart wrenching sincerity that is sure to elicit a whole range of emotions.

A lot of work is put into theatre productions.  The part you see, the actual show, is the tip of the iceberg and the rest is hidden beneath the surface where people cannot see it: the countless rehearsals, tons of workshop hours, lines memorized, late nights, and the amount of sweat put into building the set.  It isn’t just a hobby for the students.

“We’re trying to make a career out of it, just like everyone else going to Hardin-Simmons,” says Dakota Davis, senior musical theatre major. 

Davis portrays the character of Trevor in the show, and expressed what it was like to play a chimpanzee instead of a human.  “Well, obviously the posture is much different,” Davis says, laughing.  “I’m basically in a squatting position most of the show as Trevor.  Also, the way I interact with ‘humans’ is different as a chimp because [Trevor] doesn’t understand what they’re saying.”

Why should people come see Trevor? Colby Savell, senior theatre education major, and the director of Trevor said, “There’s something in this for everyone to enjoy.  Whether you’re coming to just see a monkey, or you’re coming to hear a heartfelt story with intricate character relations that will touch you in the long run, this play is the play for you.”

Whether you are a student who just needs chapel credit, or a person with a genuine interest in live theatre, the production of Trevor will leave an impression on you. 

The production of Trevor will be showing September 3rd, 4th, 5th, at 7:30pm and September 6th at 2pm, Van Ellis Theatre—Down Center Stage.

Students and faculty are free admission.  Chapel credit available.


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