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Proud but unprepared parents, played by Jeff Bush (left) and Ruth Richardson, display just about the only parental talent they have, admiration for their baby, in  “Baby With the Bathwater,” the absurdist comedy playing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at East Central University. The play is for mature audiences. Seats in the Chalmers Herman Theatre can be reserved by calling 580-559-5600.

Photo submitted by East Central University

Too polite to check the gender of their baby, unprepared parents John and Helen make a decision. It’s a girl, Helen says, and they name her Daisy. Problems arise, however, because Daisy actually is a boy who develops an identity crisis of the worst kind in an absurdist comedy that will be presented Thursday through Saturday April 8-10 at East Central University.

“Baby With the Bathwater” by Christopher Durang is the story of parenting gone wrong – really wrong – as Daisy grows up out of touch with reality. Daisy’s whiny mother and alcoholic father turn to a sadistic nanny for help, and the laughs follow as he struggles to establish his own identity and survive the abuse from his neglectful and misguided parents.

“It is an absurdist play because the situations and reactions of the characters are so ridiculous that no one in the audience could possibly interpret it as normal behavior,” said director Theo Peshehonoff, ECU instructor of communication.

The comedy will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday April 8 and  9 and at 2 p.m. Saturday April 10 in the Chalmers Herman Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. The play is for mature audiences because of some strong language.

Seating is limited. For reservations, call 580-559-5600. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for non-ECU students and seniors. ECU students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with valid IDs. ECU Alumni Association members can present their current membership card for a $1 discount.

Ruth Richardson, a post-graduate student from Sheridan Lake, Colo., will play Helen. John will be portrayed by Jeff Bush, a freshman from Bowlegs.

Other cast members are Tia Long,Oklahoma City freshman; Kendra Camplain, Ringling sophomore; Randi Sue Hall, Adasenior; Emily Rae Starkey, Okmulgee freshman; Barbara Tiry, Skiatook freshman; Heath Holt, Ada freshman; and Lauren Durbin, Atoka junior.

As a toddler, Daisy has a penchant for throwing himself in front of buses. Later there are bizarre problems in school, but finally, sessions with his analyst enable him to accept his maleness and stop wearing dresses. The final scene offers some hope that he learned from the mistakes of his parents as the former Daisy and his bride fondly watch their own baby.

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