Laugh/Riot Performing Arts Company Opens 2016 with Killer Joe

Categories:  Events    Theater
Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Laugh/Riot Performing Arts Company Opens 2016 with Killer Joe by Gregory Greenleaf-Knepp
contributed photo

Thursday, Jan. 14

Impatient loan sharks + A penniless drug dealing son + A mother’s insurance policy = Ruination assured.

That’s the underlying aggregate for Killer Joe, a Southern Gothic play à la Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner set in modern-day Texas, that’s as tweaked and twisted as a meth-house mouse.

Laugh/Riot Performing Arts Company, the resident theatre troupe at Edinboro University, will be performing the Tracy Letts dramedy as their first 2016 presentation.

“There are several really funny moments during Killer Joe,” said director Rob Connick via email, “but it’s important to recognize the difference between dark comedy and traditional comedy.” He added: “We don’t want to be these characters, we don’t want to hang out with these characters, but we can laugh at the situations the characters create for themselves,”

Owing money to nefarious sources, Chris, a down-and-out drug dealer, decides to have his mother, Adele, murdered for her life insurance policy payout. Chris hires Joe, a police detective who moonlights as a hired killer, to perform the matricide. However, since Chris is unable to afford Joe’s fee, Joe suggests he temporarily use Chris’ simple-minded sister, Dottie, as collateral (as well as a sex partner) until the insurance money is issued. With his father – Adele’s ex-husband – and his new wife, Sharla, all involved in these unconscionable cahoots, the deed is done – with unexpected results.

According to Morgan Gore, who portrays Killer Joe: “I think audience reaction will be a mixture of “I don’t know how I feel about what I just saw,” and “Okay, then ...” and “This is awkwardly entertaining.”

7:30 p.m. on Jan. 14-16 & 21-23, 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 & 24 // Edinboro University’s Diebold Center for the Performing Arts, 219 Meadville St., Edinboro // 323.1147 or laughrioterie.com

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Join Erie Reader photojournalist Maitham Basha-Agha, and local photographer Erica Whiting on a two-hour photo exhibition.

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