Thursday, January 9, 2014

In the Wings: Bus Stop. Meet Allen Banning.

Allen Banning plays Virgil Blessing in Bus Stop, the third show in the 2013-2014 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. William Inge wrote the script.

Question: Why did you audition for Bus Stop?
Allen Banning: I wanted to do the show that Steve Martin was directing, that was part of the reason. It's been almost five years since I acted in a show, and I felt like it was time.

Q: Who is Virgil Blessing?
A.B.: Virgil Blessing is the older mentor of the young Bo Decker, played by Aaron Newton. Virgil has been with Bo since Bo was born, and Virgil is trying to make sure the kid grows up right. He also is taking an opportunity to let the eaglet fly from the nest.

Q: What is fun about playing Virgil Blessing?
A.B.: It's a small enough part that it isn't difficult to memorize lines, and I get to pay attention to what everyone else is doing.

Q: Imagine that you are stuck at 1:30 a.m. in a diner that has a full working kitchen. What do you order?
A.B.: Two eggs over easy, hash browns, four slices of bacon and two pieces of whole wheat toast. Also coffee, black.

Bus Stop runs Friday, January 17 through Saturday, February 1 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street, at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday shows begin at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for youth age 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

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