Otterbein Theatre and Dance presents “A Lie of the Mind”

Posted Oct 18, 2021

The upcoming Otterbein Department of Theatre and Dance production of Sam Shepard’s “A Lie of the Mind” is a deep, dark look into two dysfunctional families in the American West, each trying to hold on to the ideal picture of stability without ever having experienced it.

Jake believes he may have killed his wife, Beth, during a domestic dispute and, to calm his concerns, his brother Frankie attempts to get the real story by traveling to Beth’s family home in Montana. While he is relieved to see Beth alive, though severely injured from the incident, Frankie is suddenly entangled in a bizarre familial web of jealousy, love, and revenge.

The eight members of the cast have found that the ensemble aspect of the script — meaning that all characters have strong, intertwining roles to tell the story — has been the most powerful part of their experience.

“My favorite part about this experience so far is how incredibly close we have become as an ensemble, and the environment of support and creativity that we have created. This has led us to new areas of the play that we didn’t even know existed,” said John Michael McCall, a junior acting major who plays Jake.

Taylor Reister, also a junior acting major, plays Sally in the production and has found the work of developing the story’s characters together to be rewarding. “I am really enjoying diving into such a deeply complex contemporary work. (Playwright) Sam Shepard provides such depth in each of his characters, as there is always vastly more to explore about these multi-faceted individuals and their connections to their other characters in the play,” she explained.

The complicated lives of each character unravel through the play’s three acts as the audience begins to see that the reality of one is actually pure fantasy, literal lies that the mind has shaped and twisted into false truths.

“Playing this role has been really challenging for me, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my amazing cast and artistic team,” said senior acting major Abby Messina, who plays Beth. “Finding the realness in all the chaos has been so rewarding, and I can’t wait to share it with audiences”

You are invited to be a part of the chaos and join the Otterbein University Department of Theatre & Dance for the production of “A Lie of the Mind,” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, and 8 p.m. on Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30, in the Campus Center Theatre, 100 W Home St., Westerville.

Otterbein students, faculty, and staff receive free admission to the performances. All other admission is $22 per person. Call 614-823-1109 or visit for more information or tickets. The box office is open 12-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and one hour prior to performances, and is located in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville.