“Stuff Happens” on the Meadows stage Sept. 26-30

Scene from 'Stuff Happens'The Meadows Theatre Division opens its 2007-08 season by taking on the Iraq war. Sir David Hare’s “modern history play” Stuff Happens, directed by Theatre Professor Rhonda Blair, runs Sept. 26-30 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Read more about the production – and about the student actress who went straight to the source to hone her interpretation. (Right, seniors Carson Alexander and Durrell Cooper as George W. Bush and Colin Powell with junior Bianca Denis as Condoleezza Rice.)

Winner of the 2007 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, Stuff Happens debuted at London’s National Theatre in 2004 and traces the political decision-making in Washington and London that led up to the invasion of Iraq. The play – whose characters include George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and other leading figures – relies on both published records and speculation to address how and why the Iraq war began.

The title is inspired by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s response on April 11, 2003, to widespread looting in Baghdad: “Stuff happens, and it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.”

SMU junior (and Student Adventurer) Bianca Denis gained insight for her portrayal of Rice by talking to the Secretary of State herself on Sept. 15. “This came about through the new SMU Vice President of Student Affairs, Lori White, who knows Rice,” said Tory Winkelman, Meadows public information officer, as reported by The Dallas Morning NewsOver the Top blog. “Bianca asked her a couple of questions and said she was very gracious.”

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $7 each for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information, call 8-2787 (8-ARTS).