Bethel’s theatre department will begin this year’s season with the performance of “Lost in Yonkers.” This show, written by Neil Simon, is a coming-of-age tale set during World War II. The cast includes four male and three female characters, which posed a challenge considering the number of auditions. Students are optimistic about the results. “It’s fascinating to see the final decisions made and look objectively at each performer and what they would bring to the show,” said Assistant Stage Manager, sophomore Hannah Taubitz. In her role as ASM, Taubitz and her partner, sophomore Andrea DeLonis, are responsible for calling actors who may be late, taking attendance, recording the staging worked out during rehearsals, taking line notes to give the actors, and assisting the Stage Manager, sophomore Jessica Werbiansky. During the performances, the ASM’s can be found backstage using headsets to ensure the show flows well. Senior, Stephen Loewen, is enjoying his role as Uncle Louie. “The biggest challenge and also the most exciting thing about playing this role is that it is something completely different for me,” said Loewen. “Last year, and almost my whole life, I've been cast as the happy go-lucky type. But Louie is anything but that.” Loewen plays a mobster who has unsuccessfully tried to please his family, but found himself tangled up in the wrong crowd. Consistent with past Bethel performances, Lost in Yonkers contains a message for the audiences. “Lost in Yonkers” has a lot of messages the audience can take home,” said Taubitz. “The importance of family, the worth of love, the impact of our decisions... what I think rings most true from this show is the idea that people can be more than they appear to be. It's a reminder for us not to judge each other, even people we think we know better than anyone. We can always be surprised.” Loewen thinks that the play focuses on the importance of family in tough times. Bella, played by junior, Jenny Reber, has a line which captures the theme of the play. When she has finally brought herself to tell her family all that she has ever desired to tell them, she says, “Hold me… Somebody please hold me.” This shows that the center of the play is the love of family and the results of it being taken away, or entirely withheld. “It has forced me to think about my relationships with my family and how I've handled things poorly in the past and want to make things right for the future,” reflects Loewen.