Three stand-up comics, one microphone and an Atlantic City casino. That’s the setup for Brick Wall, a comedy written by Vic Shuttee. A junior majoring in playwriting at the University of Houston, Shuttee started work on the play three years ago as a class project. After being workshopped at the university earlier this year, Brick Wall was accepted for the school’s theater season.
“I’ve always had a love of stand-up,” Shuttee says. “This was a great excuse to write a lot of stand-up and then make a play around it.” The three comedians in Brick Wall are at different stages in their careers. One is just beginning, one is on the brink of mainstream success and one is a sitcom veteran on his way down. All three comics are differently abled. One is deaf, another must use a wheelchair and the third is manic-depressive. “We see their stand-up act, and occasionally we cut away to see what inspired the material,” Shuttee says. “One of the cool things is that we have an onstage audience that watches the stand-ups and the actors that make up that audience become the other characters in the play.”
Shuttee says the play he wrote three years ago and the version audiences will see onstage now are very different. “For one thing, the stand-up is funny now,” he says. “A goal for me was to make the stand-up work on its own. If we cut away all the story, we’d have a full set of stand-up. It was really like writing two plays at once. I think the stand-up would work in a nightclub.”
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Fri., Nov. 15, 7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 16, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 17, 2 p.m., 2013