The Death and Life of Larry Benson: A Cast and Crew Interview


Christina Cannady

This week, Arkansas High students are preparing to perform The Death and Life of Larry Benson. Monday evening began dress rehearsals, and tech week came into full swing. Tuesday evening, Christina Cannady attended rehearsal to get an inside look at the show and get to know the cast. Firstly, she seeks to discover who the character of Larry Benson is.

A View Of The Set

“Larry Benson is the son of Sam and Freda Benson; he’s a young man who was a journalist who went off to cover a conflict in the middle east and was taken captive by some indigenous personnel over there, and [was taken into] captivity.” -Director, Kirk Lohse

After getting some insight, Cannady has some fun with the cast, finding out their favorite, and not so favorite, character traits.

Sam Ward (Mrs. Potter) and James Hodges (The Stranger) style Connor Walker’s (Melvin Clark) hair for the dress rehearsal.








“I like how I get to really act with him, he’s always really tense and ready to fight somebody.” -Joseph Barton (Sam Benson)

“She’s bubbly, and fun, and kind of a flirt!” -Katie Wardlow (Susan/Mary Ellen)

“I don’t like that he’s so weak-willed, he literally gets broken by legitimately everything.” -James Hodges (The Stranger)

Cannady then discovers a few favorite lines from the show.

Joseph Barton (Sam Benson), Harley Betts (Freda Benson), Taylor Holman (Grace Wilkey Understudy), James Hodges (The Stranger)

Harley Betts’ favorite: “You can’t shout at this boy Sam, he won’t hear you. We need to be a family again,” spoken by herself as Freda Benson.

“A few months ago we thought Larry was dead, and now he’s coming home! … This is no time for strangers.” -Bryanna Zimmerman as Jessie Benson.

Katie Wardlow (Susan/Mary Ellen), Bryanna Zimmerman (Jessie Benson), Joseph Barton (Sam Benson)

Sam Ward, who plays Mrs. Potter, says her favorite line is, “Get your hands off Mother!,” spoken by James Hodges as The Stranger because she says it leads up to an important event.

After Cannady gets the cast loosened up, she finds out what type of person would love this particular show.

“Someone who likes really deep shows, really intense stuff with a really big twist at the end. If you’re into lighthearted stuff, this isn’t for you.” -Joseph Barton (Sam Benson)

“Somebody who likes suspense…” -James Hodges (The Stranger)

Harley Betts (Freda Benson), Joseph Barton (Sam Benson)


The Death and Life of Larry Benson will be performed at the Student Center on Thursday, October 26, and Saturday, October 28, both at 7:00P.M., as well as Sunday, October 29, at 2:00P.M. You can buy tickets in advance at

Break a leg, Razorback Theatre Company!