Sep 212009
Authors: Ashley Lauwereins

Junior theatre major Sean Cummings told the Collegian in an interview last week that he would be performing alongside Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey on the University Studio Theatre stage this week in the CSU production “The Alchemist.”

However, in full character and demonstrating his conning and acting abilities, Cummings misled this Collegian writer to believe his lie about Spacey, who will not be performing in any production.

Cummings, one of the lead characters and con artist in the play, will be performing today through Sunday at the University Center for the Arts theatre.

“The Alchemist,” a play by Ben Johnson, centers on the art of conning, something Walt Jones, the director of the play, explained is as relevant now as when Johnson wrote the play in 1610.

Senior theatre major Meghan Gray finds that people aren’t as familiar with Johnson’s works as they might be with William Shakespeare, who Jones said was a contemporary of the famous playwright.

“He’s like the other Shakespeare, and it’s really good for us to bring his literary influences to the attention of other people,” Gray said.

The two main characters, Captain Face and Subtle, are played by Cummings and Luke Karn, a senior performing arts major, respectively.

Both characters work together in what Jones called a “long con,” or a con involving multiple people. Together the two con various characters in the play by convincing their victims to invest in their alchemy business.

Alchemy, the art of turning non-precious metals into gold, was believed a science during the Elizabethan Era, Jones said.

“At the time people wanted to believe that the myth was true because it would be the solution to all their problems,” Jones said.

Captain Face and Subtle are very successful in coning their victims, Jones said. There are seven different plots within the play, and just when it looks like the con men will get caught, they get away with it, he added.

“Subtle is the most important character to the business because he is the goods,” Karn said about his character. “He is the face behind the alchemy, the one to reassure the victims that they’ll be getting something in place for their investment.”

While Subtle woos the possible victims, Captain Face is the one who finds the victims.

“Face is the roper in our little con artist thing,” Cummings said.

Jones, Cummings and Karn said all audiences will enjoy the play. The performance is humorous, ranging from intellectual to slap stick comedy, Jones said.

“I would also like to share with CSU and Fort Collins how immediate the play is,” Jones said. “Even though it is 400 years old, it is still relevant today.”

The show will run from today through Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $7 for CSU students and can be purchased at The CSU Box Office in the Lory Student Center or online at

Verve writer Ashley Lauwereins can be reached at

Performance schedule


Today: 8-10 p.m.

Wednesday: 8-10 p.m.

Thursday: 8-10 p.m.

Friday: 8-10 p.m.

Saturday: 8-10 p.m.

Sunday: 2-4 p.m.

Where: University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.

Ticket prices

$7 for CSU students

$7 for youth (ages 2-17)

$14 for seniors

$16 for public

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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