“The Nerd”

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Middle school students were brought to tears of laughter as they held their sides at the production of “The Nerd.” Seventh and eighth graders from the Siberian team saw the production at the Lewiston Public Theater on October 24. “The Nerd” was Larry Shue’s first full-length play and debuted in the Milwaukee Repertory Theater in 1981.

This production was not only an enthralling comedy that was enjoyed immensely by the middle school students. It also dealt with some serious issues, such as stereotyping.

The main character in “The Nerd” was an average architect named Willum Cubbert. His boss treats him poorly and doesn’t respect his ideas. The long time friend Willum realizes he is in love with is moving to D.C. to take a job as a weather girl. She always wished Willum had a little more gumption.

With the arrival of “The Nerd” Rick Steadmen, Willum’s life drastically changes. Rick saved Willum’s life in the war, so Willum doesn’t stand up for himself and take care of his own well-being. In the end, Willum kicks Rick out and moves to Alexandria so he can be closer to his girlfriend. We eventually figure out the whole thing was just a scheme concocted by Willum’s close friend Axel to help Willum fix his life.

Mykaila Carver, an eighth grader who saw the play had a very different perspective on a discussion question than Tiana Warner, a seventh grader who didn’t see the play. The question asked which is more important: being considerate of other people’s feelings or getting what you want? Mykaila answered “If I were put in a situation like Willum’s I would do whatever it took to get my way. But, not necessarily by hurting the other person’s feelings.” Tiana answered “. . . if you’re not considerate of other people, you can lose more than you gain, even if you gain what you want.”

As you see, the two students had very different perspectives, and Mykaila’s perspective was impacted by “The Nerd.”

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