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NHS instructor, GPC freshman star in comedy

Special Photo. Conyers native Michael Cave, left, a freshman at Georgia Perimeter College in Covington, and Newton High School math and film instructor Laramy Wells star in "Greater Tune" at the college. Performances start tonight and continue until Sunday.

Special Photo. Conyers native Michael Cave, left, a freshman at Georgia Perimeter College in Covington, and Newton High School math and film instructor Laramy Wells star in "Greater Tune" at the college. Performances start tonight and continue until Sunday.

COVINGTON -- Two actors and the costume crew in Georgia Perimeter College's drama department are going to get a good workout this week.

The department is presenting the comedy "Greater Tuna" -- which only features two actors, but 20 characters of men, women and children.

Just in the first act, the three-person costume crew has to change one of the actor's costumes 15 times from male to female characters, sometimes within seconds.

"Different wigs, glasses, suspenders, boots, slippers, socks, a mixture of suits," said one of the student crew members, sophomore Karina Miller.

The play features GPC freshman student Michael Cave, a graduate of Heritage High School, and Laramy Wells, a math and film instructor at Newton High School, playing the 20 characters.

"It's very fast-paced," Miller said.

The play allows Wells to do what he likes best about acting -- let loose.

"Normally, I'm a shy person, but when I act, I lose myself and become immersed in my character, their thoughts and feelings," Wells said. "People who first meet me in theater are shocked to learn I'm shy, and people who know me outside of theater are shocked when I'm on stage. But funny enough, I feel more like myself when I'm acting than I do at any other time."

This performance will allow him to play various roles, including men, women, a sheriff, a coach and even the voice of a dog.

"I do like comedies where I can play zany characters that use physical comedy," he said. "But I enjoy any characters -- comedic or dramatic -- that allow me to step out of my shoes and into another personality."

The 1999 Newton High School graduate has been acting since high school and continued into his studies at Georgia Southern University. Upon returning to Newton County as a math teacher at NHS five years ago, he played a prince in "Romeo & Juliet" at NHS in 2005 and also became involved with GPC productions in 2008, performing in "Antigone," "The Glass Menagerie" and now "Greater Tuna."

"You get to be someone else, you get to say things you yourself probably would have never said, and with a comedy like 'Greater Tuna,' you get to enjoy hearing audiences respond," Wells said about acting. "Even with a drama, you can get a gasp or sigh or some other type of feedback from the crowd. Knowing that you caused that reaction is a great feeling."

Although he likes any type of role offered to him, Wells hopes to one day perform in a musical.

"That is the one type of production I have never been in and would love to have the opportunity," he said.

Show times for "Greater Tuna" are 7 p.m. tonight through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Georgia Perimeter College's Newton Campus located at 239 Cedar Lane in Covington in Building 1's Room 2100.

Tickets cost $5 to $10 but are free for GPC students and employees. More Information is available by visiting www.gpc.edu or calling the box office at 770-278-1435.