The College of the Holy Cross’ Alternate College Theatre (ACT) will present “Psycho Beach Party” written by Charles Busch and directed by Javonee Cotton ’13 on Nov. 29 – 30 at 8 p.m., Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. in Fenwick Theatre (located on the second floor of O’Kane Hall). Tickets are $7 for members of the Holy Cross community and $10 for the general public and can be reserved by calling the box office at (508)-793-2496.
Written in 1987, “Psycho Beach Party” is a comedic coming-of-age story that features Chicklet Forrest, a 15-year old girl who struggles not only with Multiple Personality Disorder, but also with her dream of becoming a sensational surfer. The play is filled with a cast of outlandish characters—Mrs. Forrest, a ruthless mother, Kanaka, a muscular surf guru, Bettina Barnes, a runaway movie star, and two kooky beach bums who struggle with their mutual attraction to each other—Cotton explains, and “represents a world that we all wish we could live in.”
Set in Malibu Beach during the 1960s, Busch’s comedy fearlessly interrogates notions of identity, gender and societal expectations. “Psycho Beach Party” offers “a chance to escape and reject the social norms that society has created for us,” continues Cotton. “Everyone has a past, and though we may not realize it, we are all surviving on the belief that one day we will all accept and be accepted.”
ACT is a student-run organization at Holy Cross. For each show, students manage every aspect of directing, acting, lighting and design. A theatre major from Boston, Mass., Cotton has acted in College productions of “Phoolan Devi,” “The Time of Your Life,” The Changeling,” and “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and has directed productions of “Save the Hero,” “Titanic,” “Lysistrata,” and “Spring Awakening.”
The play features a cast of 11 undergraduate students, including Erik Schneider ’16 as Chicklet Forrest, Adia Vellaccio ’14 as Bettina Barnes, Brian Ott ’16 as Star Cat, and Maureen O’Meara ’15 as Berdine.