PerfectlyPlanned News: GREATER TUNA at Burgdorff Center in Maplewood

April 20th, 2009 I met several members of the What Exit Theatre Company on Sunday, April 19th, including Bev Sheehan, for the first time.  Steve Wohl and I hit it off when we met.  My friend and partner in crime attended the play, and we had a great time along with the other attendees.

The cast, in order of appearance, Jim Ligon & Michael Irvin Pollard, had the audience laughing throughout.  I was caught in a fit of laughter and horror as the two actors and comedians expertly navigate the stereotypes of Southerners, human complexities of parent hood, and personal suffering of the marginalized in a cast of residents living in the small town of Greater Tuna, Texas.  I took away from the play that human suffering is universal in the human experience, shared by those who cause suffering in others just as much as by those who suffer at the hands of others.

My favorite character in the whole play was Petey Fisk, played by actor Michael Irvin Pollard, who worked for the Greater Tuna Humane Society.  During one scene Petey appealed to the residents of Greater Tuna to consider, when they went fishing, the feelings of the fish they caught.  Now, I like fish. A lot.  In fact I prepared fish for dinner before going to bed the night before.  But…after listening to Petey describe, with emotional restraint, the process of catching a fish, pulling the hook from its gills, and then cleaning it, all the while asking the audience to consider that fish feel pain too…I felt like maybe I should re-examine his suggestion about becoming a vegetarian…

Below are pictures of the event.  I’m especially excited that I had a chance to speak with Michael Irvin Pollard after and take a picture with him.  Enjoy.


Posted April 16th, 2009:

See GREATER TUNA at a Discount.

Say “Resident Planning Geek at the Box Office & Purchase (2) Tickets for $25. I met Steve Wohl from the company during my travels today. He’s generously offered this discount to Perfectly Planned readers.  Ticket Prices: General $25, Seniors $20, & Students $15.

Expect a post about the show Maplewoodians! I’ll be attending this weekend.

Greater Tuna, by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard

Brought to you by What Exit? Theatre Company

Showing Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm & Sundays at 3pm.

Showing from April 2 through April 19th, 2009.

Greater Tuna is “An affectionate comment, and yet a withering satire, on small-town Southern life and attitudes. This hilarious comedy is set in Tuna, the “third smallest town in Texas.” It’s eclectic band of citizens, twenty in all, of every ilk, age and gender are portrayed by Jim Ligon and Michael Pollard, two of New Jersey’s most versatile actors.”

The What Exit? Theatre Company “is dedicated to producing contemporary comedies and comic dramas, some dark, some silly, some heartwarming and heart wrenching, but always with the commitment to the corrective and healing power of laughter.”

For more information visit: or call 973.763.4029


© 2010 W. S. Hughes


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