Student directed play reveals dire effects of alcohol, drugs

Geneseo students are vigorously rehearsing and preparing for their performance of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “The Motherfucker with the Hat,” which is sure to captivate audiences.

The play will be performed in the Robert Sinclair Theatre from Oct. 25-27 at 7:30 p.m. 

Originally premiering at the Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York City, the show features five characters and their intertwining lives. 

The play follows the storyline of a character who, upon his release from prison, Jackie—played by undeclared major sophomore Justin Winley—attempts to reconnect with his past girlfriend, Veronica—played by sophomore communication major Katherine Joyce. Jackie, a former drug dealer, suspects that Veronica may have cheated on him after seeing a hat in her apartment, which is the central conflict of the play that follows Jackie as he tries to discover who the mysterious “motherfucker with the hat” may be.  

Seeking regular and explicit-filled help from his drug and parole counselor, Ralph D.—played by mathematics major freshman Rocky Nardone—Jackie eventually finds out who his girlfriend has been having an affair with and confronts them. 

“I have learned, through being an actor in this show, the truly complicated nature of love and relationships, especially for an ex-convict,” Nardone said of being featured in his first production at Geneseo. “It has been a pleasure to work on a show with such talented actors and an excellent director.”

Director senior Kimberly Romano describes the play as a dark comedy with lewd but real elements. 

“I really wanted to bring attention to the way that people are sometimes disrupting their own lives and giving away happiness by giving in to the weaker things in life such as alcohol and drugs,” Romano said. 

The entire show, including Romano’s direction, is overseen by Randy Barbara Kaplan, professor of theater and dance at Geneseo. Kaplan assisted Romano in selecting the play, casting and throughout the rehearsal process.

“I tried to make the cast as ethnically diverse as possible, as New York City is a city full of color and I wanted it to be reflective of that,” Romano said. “I am really happy with the work that they are doing.”

The Wall Street Journal encourages audiences not to squander the opportunity to see the show; “Don’t let the stupid title put you off. If you do, you’ll miss one of the best new plays to come to Broadway in ages.”