Theatre Department to Perform “Other Life Forms”

Victoria Ware, Reporter

“Other Life Forms,” a romantic comedy play written by a Marshall alumnus, will be performed by the theater department beginning on Wednesday, Apr. 13 at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.

“’Other Life Forms’ is a comedy that examines love,” playwright Brandon McCoy said. “There is a character in the play that can’t fully understand what love is. So, that character is observing other people to figure out if he can define it.”

“So, the play thematically is about proving the existence of love,” McCoy said. “It’s a sci-fi romantic comedy that came out of a period when I was just starting to write plays and I had a real interest to explore some comedies.”

McCoy wants the audience to have a lighthearted experience. He also wants those who are in the production to enjoy performing the play.

“I believe that one of the important things that theater can do and should do is give people escape,” McCoy said. “It’s important to do plays about serious topics and issues, but the theater is also about enjoyment and escapism and having a good time. So, the biggest thing that I want is I want people to have a good time.”

“I want the people who see it to have a good time and to laugh, and I also want the people doing the play to have a good time,” McCoy said. “As far as a theme is concerned or a motif or something I want people to take away… what I’ll say is that many people who have seen this play before felt like they were watchingthemselves at a different time.”

“Whenever you’re talking about something as universal as love, I think that you’re opening it up to the possibility that everyone should be able to see themselves in it,” McCoy said. “So, I hope that they do.”

McCoy began writing plays in 2013 or 2014. He got into playwrighting through his experience as a director.

“I started as a professional actor 17 years ago,” McCoy said. “I came by directing [through] acting and meeting a lot of people and making relationships, and I came by playwrighting through directing because when you’re directing, you’re really digging into plays and you are analyzing texts and you’re starting to figure out what sorts of things you really like and also what sorts of things you don’t like.”

“So, I started writing plays in earnest in like 2013-2014, but never really with the idea that I was writing it to share it with people,” McCoy said. “It wasn’t until I had a couple of drafts and I gave it to some friends and they said, ‘This is really funny, we should hear it out loud,” that I finally decided to hear it out loud and realize that we were onto something.”

McCoy grew up in Huntington and received a bachelor of fine arts in acting and directing from Marshall. He said that he is thankful for the education that he received from the university.

“Huntington’s my hometown where I grew up and Marshall means so much to me because I have been able to do the things that I’ve done because of the education I received in the theater department at Marshall,” McCoy said. “It is an incredible place. It is a secret that needs to be shared.”

“It’s a great training program and they prepared me to have a successful career and I’m incredibly thankful,” McCoy said. “Then the other part of it that I really love is getting to work with the students. I’m a college professor also and one of my favorite things is discovering plays and working on plays with young people. So, that means a lot to me too.”

“It’s not just a play that we’re bringing back. It’s a play that the students are doing,” McCoy said. “It’s a little bit of looking back for me—20 plus years ago—and that’s really cool.”

“January of 2020, the Keegan Theater and I toured a play I wrote called, ‘West By God,’ and that played at Marshall, but that was a professional production from D. C. that played at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse,” McCoy said. “This is the second play of mine that’s been performed at Marshall.”