Ten days left to live

Play looks at how people deal with death

 by Aimee Tucker
 published on Friday, April 13, 2007

Lee Kauftheil / THE STATE PRESS
ENTER STAGE RIGHT: Lutheran Campus Ministry’s program and director for Desert Cross Lutheran Church Daniel Pugh wrote a play about ASU students dealing with death.

What would you do if you had 10 days left to live?
Characters in Lutheran Campus Ministry's play "What Really Matters" will be faced with that predicament this weekend.
In the play, ASU students are infected by wildcats from Tucson and must be quarantined, said Daniel Pugh, LCM's program coordinator.
Pugh, who wrote and directed the play, said his inspiration was his interest in how different people deal with death.
The play focuses on the students' interactions with each other during the 10 days, he said.
Its themes apply to everyday life, he said.
"Really, all we have is each other," Pugh said. "We're all quarantined to this planet."
The play's characters are based on exaggerations of LCM students' personalities, said Maris Fernandes, a choral music education freshman.
Chris Dickerson, a mathematics freshman, said his character decides to get married when he discovers his fate.
Katie Grimmer, a journalism freshman, plays a boy-crazy girl who begins dating a guy named Jake, much to the annoyance of Fernandes' character Samantha, she said.
Although the actors see some of their own personalities in the characters, they would act differently if put in a similar situation, they said.
"I definitely would not get married," Dickerson said.
The students agreed that they would focus on the important things in life if put in that situation.
"Relationships! Experiences! Connection!" Fernandes said, quoting a line from the play.
Life's importance is found in people's hearts and relationships with each other and Jesus, Fernandes said.
Fernandes said she hopes people are touched by the play.
"Every day, even your worst day, is still a blessing from God, and that's the message we hope people come away with," Dickerson said.
Pugh said most of his plays are edgier, but he wanted to emphasize love in this one.
"All that matters is the love we have for one another," Pugh said.
The play's proceeds will go to LCM's annual summer trip to build three houses in Tijuana, Mexico with Amor Ministries, he said.
He's taking a group of 10 to 15 students along with a group of about 50 from Desert Cross Lutheran Church, he said.
While the building takes hard work, the families' reactions to the building project is very worthwhile, Grimmer said.
There was one thing Pugh told the group during their stay that really stuck out to her, she said.
"[He said], 'Don't talk about going back to real life, because what we do out there is real life,'" she said.
Students will perform "What Really Matters" at Desert Cross Lutheran Church this weekend. The play, which includes dinner, will start at 6 p.m. Friday and Sunday and 7 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for students and children.
Reach the reporter at: aimee.tucker@asu.edu.


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