Metatheater takes over TAMUCC with its production of “Life Sucks”


A photo of the production’s digital program. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Dante Ortiz, Reporter

“Life sucks” by Aaron Posner was brought to the stage by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s(TAMU-CC) Department of Theatre and Dance. The Wilson Theatre was transformed into a joyful and laid-back setting that balanced out the comedic and chaotic nature of the show.

       The cast and crew put on a humorous and quirky performance that shed light on the human experience of hardship and the negative self-perceptions everyone holds on the inside. 

       The production was directed by Alison Frost and premiered on April 18., and is “a sort of adaptation” of Russian playwright Anton Checkov’s “Uncle Vanya.” 

       The play follows six characters who each express their feelings that “life sucks” through humor and alcoholism. 

       The audience was introduced to Vanya, played by Nate Staggs, a funny and intelligent man expressing his discontent with life and jealousy towards The Professor, played by Kevin Hammond, a man scared of aging and hides his insecurities in the form of cynicism and humor. 

       Vanya is after the professor’s wife, Ella, played by Hannah Anderson, an educated and elegant woman dissatisfied with her life despite her accomplishments, and is torn between her husband and her infatuation with Dr. Aster, Vanya’s best friend,  played by David Wheelis. Wheelis is a middle-aged man with a passion for environmental conservation and humanity that contrasts his actions as a self-absorbed womanizer. 

       Sonya, played by Emily Villareal, similar to Ella, is after the affections of Dr. Aster, as she repeatedly expresses her unreciprocated love for him throughout the play. Sonya is Vanya’s niece,  and embodies compassion as she puts the needs of others before her own, but this ultimately leads to a lack of self-compassion. 

       Pickles, played by Niairia Brager, is an adorably funny and sweet character who partakes in quirky antics while living with the pain of longing for a lost love. She is good friends with Babs, played by Paige Woelke, who serves as a voice of wisdom and understanding among the others and as a motherlike figure for Sonia. 

       The production started with the actors coming out to engage with the audience, breaking the fourth wall and making it feel as though the audience was a part of the play rather than just attending one.

       The show holds a mirror up to playgoers as it sheds light on the reality of the human experience. As everyone can relate to feelings of discontent with where they are in life and that they could have accomplished more.

       This play demonstrates how the hierarchy we build in our minds by putting others on a pedestal can be detrimental to our self-perception.

       The play ultimately begs the question, “Does life suck?” with the characters seeking out answers from the audience on the matter. Ultimately sending playgoers off with the notion that “life sucks, but not that much.”

       The production was held at TAMUCC’s Wilson Theatre, located in the Center for Arts. The doors opened at 7:00 with the showtime starting at 7:30 p.m. The play is 2 hours and 15 minutes long, with intermissions between Acts 2 and 3.  The tickets were $12 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors, and military members. The play will run from April 18., to April 22.