The Aerie, Yearbook of University of North Texas, 1990 Page: 71
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- Front Row:
Sue Grissom Back
Row: Bill Otsott,
Photo by Craig
Play causes mixed emotions with its bitter
satirization of Catholicism and the dark humor in
which the topics of still-born babies is portrayed
T wo productions of the fall drama season
dealt with the subject of marriage. The
first of these was the 1985 play "The
Marriage of Bette and Boo," by Chris-
topher Durang. The production, starring Shar-
on Boynton-Currie, William Reynolds, Laura
Swank, Patrick Johnson and Lindsay Keffer,
was held Sept. 7-9 in the Studio Theatre. A
dinner, catered by the
University Union, was
held prior to the perfor-
The play depicted the
bizarre marriage between
two characters named
Bette and Boo (played by
Boynton-Currie and Reynolds, respectively).
Their life was one of repression and bitterness,
caused mainly by Boo himself. A drunk and a
child-hater, Boo was the complete opposite of
his wife, who adored children obsessively. The
play detailed incidents in the couple's doomed
matrimony and their relationships with their
own faulty fathers. The marriage eventually
ended in divorce. As a final blow, Bette con-
tracted cancer near the end of the performance
"The Marriage of Bette and Boo" caused a
bit of a stir in New York when it opened in
1985, and it did not sit well with a few people
at NT. The play bitterly satirizes Catholicism
- especially its dogma concerning large fam-
ilies - and contains extremely dark humor
dealing with dead babies. One audience mem-
ber walked out during intermission and did
not return for the second act, due to the
joking manner in which stillborn children
were portrayed. Stillbirths were a major object
of satire throughout the entire play.
Scenery for "The Marriage of Bette and
Boo" was conceived and designed by Dr.
Richard Holcomb of the drama faculty and
the play's director, Velicia Daniels. The main
set consisted of a confessional which also
doubled as a bathroom. Holcomb stated that
the set was meant to be "symbolic, as well as
functional." The two came up with the idea
for the set by reading the play; Holcomb said
he then pictured the set in his mind and, with
Daniels, drew up a rough sketch which even-
tually became the all-purpose confessional.
Unfortunately, because the play was per-
formed the second weekend of the fall semes-
ter, "The Marriage of Bette and Boo" was not
well-attended. Thus, the play did not cause as
much controversy as it might have had it run
later in the year.
"The Marriage Of Bette & Boo" *
Arts And Entertainment 4W
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University of North Texas. The Aerie, Yearbook of University of North Texas, 1990, yearbook, 1990; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth61055/m1/74/: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.