Furman Theatre is currently in its second week of rehearsals for their upcoming production, "Never Swim Alone," directed by Professor Jay Oney with fight choreography by Professor Jason Adkins. Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor wrote this drama in 1991. The drama follows a pompous thirteen-round boxing match between the two leading men, Bill and Frank, with the winner of each round being determined by the mysterious female referee. As the play unravels, so do the characters’ façades. 

"Never Swim Alone" serves as a satirical piece that criticizes the value society places on the idea of the “Alpha Male.” Oney said, “we are in a world that values the number one man, and this play questions that. [The play] shows real stuff between two men, but there’s also so much imagination. Two young men are called to account for their lives and their stakes.” He added, “I hope the audience hears every word.”

The show will be held in The Playhouse, which will give audience members in the front row an especially rich show filled with audience interaction and an up-close look at the brutal fight sequences. Regardless of if you are in the front row or all the way in the back, you will hear and feel every word of the powerfully delivered and fast-paced monologues, which are often delivered in unison to create an especially tense yet mesmerizing environment. 

Although the show can be bone-chillingly intense at times, Oney reassures that “[The cast and crew] will be concerned with and work hard for the humor in the show—no one goes to the theatre for a lecture. You want suspense and funny moments too.” From what I saw at only their sixth rehearsal, I know this statement to be true. There are several intense moments that will leave audience members reeling, but there is plenty of comedic relief as well. 

When asked about the process of putting the show together, Stage Manager Emily Lackey '25 noted that "even though we are only on our second week of rehearsals, we have made such great progress and it is very exciting to see the show grow and change each night. I think this play really shows off what Furman Theatre is best at: connecting with the audience through thought-provoking art."

Tickets are now on sale online, and the Box Office will open on Sept. 19 from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m., at $5 for Furman students, $10 for Furman Associated, and $15 for General Admission tickets. You can also purchase a 4-Ticket Flex Pass for the entire season for $25 on Furman Theatre's website.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door on a pay-what-you-can basis. Shows will be running from Sept.27 to Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 2 at 2 p.m., with a pre-recorded virtual streaming option available Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Students should note that Cultural Life Program credit will not be awarded for the online shows.

This is an incredibly captivating show that you will not want to miss!