NACOGDOCHES, Texas — “Yes, We Deliver,” a play written by Dr. Ken Untiedt, Stephen F. Austin State University professor of English, will premiere in November at the Lamp-Lite Theatre.
The play tells the story of a wealthy young man who doesn’t want to be part of his family’s “shady business.” Instead, he becomes a pizza deliverer and encounters a variety of different people while trying to figure out his place in life.
Untiedt relied on his personal experience as a pizza deliverer to write the characters and script.
“I met a lot of different people during that job, and many of them are represented in the play,” Untiedt said.
“Yes, We Deliver” is Untiedt’s first play. He had the idea for years and would jot down snippets of scenes on paper when an idea struck him. Over the 2017 Christmas break, he finally decided to sit down and tie the scenes into a cohesive story. The process was a new one for Untiedt.
“Playwriting is different from poetry or fiction,” he explained. “It’s an interesting challenge.”
Part of Untiedt’s process was imagining how an audience would react to certain lines or characters. He thought through each detail to make sure it would draw out the reaction he wanted.
“Live theatre is dynamic and interactive,” Untiedt said, “which is different from writing a book and never seeing the audience’s reaction.”
Untiedt has been involved with the Lamp-Lite Theatre for many years. He has portrayed roles in a variety of plays at the theater and currently serves as a vice president on the Board of Directors.
“The Lamp-Lite is a phenomenal theater. It’s all volunteer, but they create amazing productions,” Untiedt said.
Though he was nervous about handing off his work, Untiedt delivered a copy to Sarah McMullan, founder and managing/artistic director of the Lamp-Lite Theatre.
“Sarah is a trusted friend, and I was so thrilled when she told me Lamp-Lite had to do my play,” he said.
Untiedt has chosen to be hands-off for the production aside from playing one minor role. It is yet another challenge he is facing in the world of playwriting.
“The director has done a great job, and the cast isn’t quite what I imagined — they’re better,” Untiedt said. “But it is still difficult to hand off a project that is so close to my heart.”
The play will show at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. Nov. 11. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for students with a valid ID. The Lamp-Lite Theatre is located at Loop 224 and Old Tyler Road.
For more information, contact the theater at firstname.lastname@example.org or (936) 564-8300.