‘The Pillowman:’

A play of worldwide fame is coming soon to Missouri Southern.

Martin McDonagh, known for various black comedies, wrote The Pillowman, which has gained international acclaim for looking at censorship.

“It’s a play is really one of the most popular plays in the world right now,” said Tim Klein, assistant professor of theatre. “It started at the National Theatre of England in 2003 starring some pretty big-name actors. It was on Broadway in 2005 with Jeff Goldblum and Billy Crudup, and since then it’s been everywhere.”

The story revolves around a fiction writer who is arrested and interrogated for the stories he has written, in connection to a series of murders.

“The main character is a writer who lives in a totalitarian regime and in order to escape, because there’s not a lot of free press, he writes these stories and they become very gruesome,” Klein said. “He recites several of his stories, some to the characters in the play and some to the audience.

“When he recites his stories inside the play to other characters.”

The dictatorship goes unnamed, making it ominous and overwhelming, but also is intended not to target any specific group.

“I don’t think he wanted to set it in Nazi Germany or an Eastern dictatorship or China,” said Mathew Campbell, senior theatre major. “It’s about the restriction of art and how art can be restricted.

“I think he wrote this story to just say that we don’t have to take stories so serious, that they may to be as awful as they sound. We may write them just to write them and have no meaning behind them, but we write them because it’s an expression of whatever we’re going through ourselves. It’s about the story and about not having to control or stifle it just to please other people.”

Klein said the play was difficult to put together due to minimalism of the set. According to Klein, two of the three acts are in an interrogation room while the other is in a prison cell, limiting the action on stage.

“There’s not a lot of furniture; there’s not a lot of places for these actors to go; there’s not a lot of opportunities to use props and activities so it’s very difficult to stage,” he said.

So why stay for a show with little action?

“Hopefully the acting,” Klein said. “ ‘Hopefully’ being the operative word.’ ”

The play begins at 7:30 p.m. every night beginning Oct. 12 . The play will run through Oct. 16 in the Bud Walton Theatre.

Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for high school students and senior citizens.