Unknown Locals’ ‘No Service’ play to hit the stage

By Scout Anatricia
Reader Intern

It’s one of those topics that make people’s increasingly wrinkly palms sweaty and forms a knot in the pit of their ever-aging gut.

The inevitablitity of it is profound and apparent but rarely explored as deeply as Chris Herron dares. Herron’s up-and-coming play, “No Service,” digs deep into the raw emotion of the final days of a salty, sarcastic, sickly old woman.

Death itself doesn’t seem so bad but leaving behind a life of memories, regrets, and love is one of people’s greatest fears. Herron exposes this idea through his witty and bitter main character, Ann.

Ann, a terminally ill woman only days away from death, has isolated herself from the world and plans on coming to her end that way until one of her old friend’s discovers, via Facebook, that she is sickly and comes to visit. It has been 12 years since their last interaction and there is more than a hint of cynicsim and bitter emotion throughout the play as Ann expresses that she would much rather be cremated with her friend yelling: “Burn the bitch!” than suffer through her own funeral service.

The truths of human nature surface through Ann’s interaction with her old friend and friend’s grown daughter, as well as eventually with her own estranged daughter. “If I can time it right I want my last words to be ‘I think I’m feeling much better.’” expresses Ann to her worried visitors. The whole womanly rendevous is profane, witty, funny and honest.

Speaking of honest, raw lettuce isn’t that great. But if you toss in some apples and sunflower seeds and cheese and cover it in ranch dressing then all of a sudden the lettuce loses it’s bitter taste and becomes something enjoyable. Likewise, the play is smothered in sarcasm to cover raw emotions.

“I don’t remember RSVP-ing to your opinion party.” “Well I don’t remember inviting you!” Through witty anecdotes and sarcastic truths, Herron uses his characters to connect with the audience and ropes us into reflect upon our own lives, and deaths.

“No Service,” put on by the ‘Unknown Locals’, stars Kate McAlister with Madeline Elliot, Becky Campbell, and C.J. Dowling in supporting roles. These women appreciate that they are able to develop their characters and McAlister expresses deep admiration for Herron’s writing; “He really does have a lot of depth into human emotion and he nails the essence of human relationships.”

Whether or not you are ready to confront the imminent, impending certainty of death it would be a mistake to pass-up attending the lively performance of “No Service.”

“No Service” will be playing at the Heartwood Center Aug. 28-29 and again Sept. 4-5. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors/students. 

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