'Sleeping with Hitler' to debut at Life and Literature Performance Series

The 12th annual Life and Literature Performance Series will take place at the Corner Play House Sept. 17-21.

“Sleeping with Hitler,” an original play by doctoral student Aaron Scully, will premiere at the 12th annual Life and Literature Performance Series.

The series will feature four different acts and will be hosted at the Corner Playhouse Sept. 17-21.

Scully said this series differentiates from others because it holds a personal connection for those involved.

“The inspiration is from a short story my cousin William Scully wrote before he passed away in 2000,” Scully said. “He wrote the story in his late teens, and I read it shortly after he passed away, and it always stuck with me. It’s been very cool because it’s in the spirit of my cousin.”

The story is about three lifelong childhood friends who are 15 years old and spend their summer days trying to catch a catfish named Hitler, which was named by one of the boys’ fathers. Throughout the play they face trials that test the waters of love and friendship.

“Buster, one of the friends, almost caught a catfish that his father had dubbed Hitler,” Scully said. “Later that same day, his father died. So it’s like (Buster) trying to catch the fish is equivalent to him coming to peace with his father’s death.”

Scully said the play is supposed to be “funny, cute, violent and sweet.”

“It’s basically a story about friendship and how tight of a bond it is,” Scully said.

“Sleeping with Hitler” is directed by theatre professor Jon Drtina. This is his first time directing, but he’s been involved with the Life and Literature series for many years.

“People often say theater is a collaborative art form, and it is, because there are always so many different people involved in the creation of a production,” Drtina said. “I’ve been working with Life and Literature Series performers for the last 12 years, and every year, everyone involved in the process brings something new, exciting and different to the table.”

Not only will “Sleeping With Hitler” be performed at MU, but Drtina and Scully have been invited to take the act on the road to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in January.

Scully said he hopes the audience is reminded of their youth and the friends they have made.

“I hope they laugh because it’s a comedy as well as a drama,” Scully said. “And I hope this play reminds the audience of the friendships they built when they were children and on into high school.”

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