Theatre program to showcase original production for senior show

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Theatre program to showcase original production for senior show

 Blow Me Up Jesus
The Northwestern Oklahoma State University theatre program will be showcasing the writing and directing of Jordan Lyles, Sapulpa senior, Feb. 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. in Herod Hall Auditorium for Lyles’ senior production. Doors open 30 minutes before each showing, and admission costs are $3 with a student ID, $5 for faculty and staff, and $7 general admission.

Lyles’ play is titled “Blow Me Up, Jesus,” a dark comedy about a self-destructive bachelor, Joel, who spends his time throwing himself at women, drinking heavily and binge-watching Netflix in his apartment.  His hermetic, lethargic lifestyle is uprooted when his brother, Dennis, and young niece, Jenny, come to live with him after Dennis’ wife leaves him. Their lifelong sibling rivalry, exacerbated by Joel’s bad habits and secretiveness, drives a wedge between the brothers and creates conflict in their close quarters. 

When Joel is faced with a devastating internal crisis, he must choose either to fight to repair his relationships with his family and atone for his past mistakes—or simply spiral further into his reckless behaviors. 

Lyles has cast 12 different actors in her senior show, and to make her production even more personal, she chose her 11-year-old sister, Madelyn DeGraffenreid, to play the role of Jenny, the niece.

“Aside from school programs and summer camp, this is Madelyn’s first on-stage experience,” Lyles said.  “She’s been to several theatre summer camps and she loves to act, so it only made sense to cast her in my senior production.”   

Others in the cast include: Justin Reiger, Forgan senior, as Joel; Hanson Long, Waynoka senior, Dennis; Hannah Dirks, Woodward alumnus, Zoey; Ashlynn Walker, Perryton, Texas, alumnus, Nicole; Nick Coffey, Springfield, Tenn., junior, David and the doctor; Trenton Judd, Sapulpa junior, Walter and the Pizza Man; Hayden Nickel, Helena sophomore, Yvette and woman #1; Tori Hurley, Sheffield, Iowa, freshman, Kelly and a bartender; Taylor Morris, Pacoima, Calif., sophomore, Lara; Tom Pantera, instructor of mass communications, Chuck; and Dr. Karen Linstrum, assistant professor of psychology, Caroline.

For more information about Northwestern’s theatre program, contact Kimberly Weast, MFA, professor of theatre arts, at or (580) 327-8462.