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Veteran thespians star in local dramatic production

Happy days are here again for theater veteran Lyrr Descy, an award-winning actress and director who has directed shows in three continents.

Starting tonight, ARTS/West, 132 W. State St., will host Happy Days, a play by Samuel Beckett. The play goes “beyond the safe fare” of normal community theater by “tickling intellect as well as the funny bone,” according to an ARTS/West news release.

Descy is not only the producer for the show but also stars as the protagonist, Winnie. Theater veteran Ron Luce plays opposite her as Willie, Winnie’s husband.

The show, according to the actors, is a story about a married couple who are complete opposites but still fit each other’s needs.

Descy is no stranger to the character of Winnie, having portrayed her in 1990 as a graduate student at the Arizona State University Institute for the Studies

Though she has experience with the role, Descy said the character of Winnie is so complex that it was just as hard to learn the second time. While she expected the lines to come back to her quickly, she said it took some work to memorize them again.

“It’s a role that women want to play as men want to play Hamlet,” Descy added. “It was my idea to do it here, I wanted to experience it again.”

In contrast, the character of Willie is much quieter and less ambitious than Winnie, said Luce, an Ohio University alumnus who has been in productions around Southeast Ohio.  Luce went on to describe Willie as “gruff” and “hard to figure out.”

“He’s not nearly as driven and ambitious as Winnie is,” Luce said. “She’s very concerned with how she looks and how the world works and he is very simple and quiet.”

The play is mainly composed of lines spoken by Winnie, with occasional one-liners and gestures by Willie. Luce described his biggest challenge of the show as keeping up with Descy as an amateur actor.

“It takes an experienced actress to play this part and she does so beautifully,” he said. “I just try and keep up.”

A previous version of this story said Lyrr Descy played Winnie at the Institute for Design and the Arts. Descy played Winnie at the

Arizona State University Institute for Studies in the Arts.

The story also said Saturday's showing will begin at 2:30 p.m. The play will begin at 8 p.m.

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