The Nerd
by Hill Country Arts Foundation (HCAF)

Jun. 11 - Jun. 13 (2022)

Set in Terre Haute, Indiana in late 1979, The Nerd presents the story of Willum Cubbert, an unassuming young architect, who is landlord to friends Tansy and Axel. Tansy is a smart, attractive woman, with a mutual (but unconsummated) attraction to Willum; she is determined to leave in order to pursue a career in television meteorology in Washington, D.C. Axel is a smart aleck drama critic who was once engaged, briefly, to Tansy. The three of them are good friends.

Axel and Tansy are present when Willum, during a house party, becomes host to unexpected houseguest Rick Steadman, who had saved Willum's life in Vietnam. Over the years, Willum and Rick had exchanged occasional letters and greeting cards, though they never met.

Willum has promised Rick that he could come to him for help at any time. While Willum is hosting a dinner party for his client (Warnock Waldgrave, for whom he is designing a hotel), Rick shows up. His awkward manner and inappropriate behavior throw the occasion into shambles. Rick decides to move in, and Willum feels that he can't say no, even when Rick begins to destroy his professional relationship with Mr. Waldgrave. Eventually at his wit's end, Axel devises a plan to get rid of Rick, which Willum decides to take a chance on.

Saturday, June 11, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Monday, June 13, 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Willum Cubbert: Willum is an architect, currently designing a hotel for Mr. Waldgrave, and a pushover. He's kind and intelligent, but Tansy says he "could use a little gumption." He lacks the backbone to stand up for himself. 

Tansy McGinnis: A smart woman who is as attracted to Willum as he is to her, but who has been offered her dream job as a television weather forecaster in Washington, D.C., and feels guilty for leaving Willum behind. Idealistic, perky, and just as kind as Willum. 

Axel Hammond: Willum's best friend. He's a pretentious, often-inebriated drama critic, always ready with a sarcastic comment. 

Rick Steadman/Kemp Hall: The titular "nerd." He's oblivious to insult and lacks manners or sensitivity. He tells Willum that he works as an inspector at a chalk factory in Wisconsin. 

Warnock Waldgrave: A boisterous, slightly dim businessman, owner of eight hotels, with no creativity and no tact. He never smiles. 

Clelia Waldgrave: Mr. Waldgrave's high-strung, put-upon wife. She holds back all of her emotions, and only releases her stress when she can break "something small." 

Thor Waldgrave: The Waldgraves' terror of a son. "Poster child for Planned Parenthood," as Axel calls him. Spends most of the play hiding in a closet or bedroom.