Bringing up baby

Nathan Winegar

The new Willard Theater Company will try to keep from trickling down the drain tonight with its first performance of “Baby with the Bathwater.”

The company, started Winter Quarter by two freshmen, has five performances this weekend, beginning at 8 p.m. tonight in the Great Room of Jones Fine and Performing Arts Residential College.

Speech students Christopher Gorbos and Talton Wingate, who co-produced and co-directed the show, started the company with money from the Willard Executive Board.

“We knew there was a lot of talent in Willard, especially freshmen,” Gorbos said. “We both wanted to direct, so we decided to go with it.”

“It’s been for fun, really,” Wingate said. “We just wanted a picture where we had creative control.”

About 12 people are involved in the production from actors to lighting specialists.

“A lot of people are doing a lot of things,” Gorbos said. “It gives people a chance to do a lot of things they wouldn’t get to do otherwise.”

“Baby with the Bathwater” is “an absurd play” that chronicles two neurotic parents raising their child, he said.

Gorbos and Wingate star in the show as the child and husband. Speech Freshman Melli Vytlacil plays the mother.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”

She said her character “is an unstable person who should not be raising a child.”

The crux of the play is that the parents, in order to protect the child’s privacy, don’t look to determine the baby’s sex. They decide to treat it as girl, and only when the child turns 12 do the parents realize it is a boy.

“It is a comedy,” Gorbos assured. “It has a happy ending.”

The grant they received was contingent upon keeping the company going after this year. Ticket sales from this weekend’s performances will try to keep the theater company financially solvent for next year’s production, which Gorbos and Wingate plan to coordinate.

“I don’t think the RAs would be too happy about a fund-raising party in my room,” he said.

Wingate said he’s just hoping people turn out.

“We just want an audience, I guess,” he said. “As long as they come, I know we’ll give them a good show.”

The play also will be performed at 8 and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Vytlacil said the experience of putting on the show has been valuable, particularly as a freshman.

“I think it’s been a great opportunity to work with friends and put on a show we care about,” she said.