Doomsday cookout: 'Barbecue Apocalypse' heats up the stage

What could possibly go wrong when six 30-something friends try to have a peaceful barbecue in the back yard?  The fun begins when they try to figure out how to light the grill. It’s all part of Matt Lyle’s contemporary comedy, “Barbecue Apocalypse,” which will be presented next week at Richland.

The play is about friendship among three couples as they banter about a variety of topics including each other. As they mingle, there’s a lot of beer and a little political chatter. 

The audience will be delighted with each of the characters.

Richland drama professor and director, Gregory Lush, said one of the reasons he chose “Barbecue” for Richland’s last production this semester is that he felt drama students could be successful in portraying the characters. He is also friends with Lyle, a Dallas playwright. 

Since Lyle was speaking on campus at the Literary Festival April 6, Lushthought it would be an “awesome experience for acting students to meet the playwright of the play they were working on.” 

The cast includes a total of seven Richland actors:  Raven Lanuza-Brown, Sheldon Vielma, Jabin Lewis, Carter Brown, Cori Clark, Kyla Burns and Carlos Hernandez. 

Lush said the play explores themes about values. 

“Part of what he’s playing with is how do we get to a place where we don’t judge everything in terms of its economics,” said Lyle. 

“Barbecue” tries toexcite the audience with a violent cataclysmic event. Lush said he wants it to be left to the audience’s imagination and would love for them to think, “What just happened?” 

“Barbecue Apocalypse” will run at 7:30 p.m. from April 26-29 with a preview April 25 in the Arena Theater in Fannin Hall. No reservations are necessary. The play is free and open to the public. It’s rated R and recommended for those over the age of 17.