PLT Makes Special Presentation of “The Boys Next Door”

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Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre presents “The Boys Next Door” for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Published: October 5, 2017.

A special complimentary performance of Tom Griffin’s 1983 play “The Boys Next Door,” which is about four intellectually disabled men in a group home and their social worker, was offered Oct. 4 to the clients of Trinity Services and other area organizations. The Philip Lynch Theatre (PLT) is staging the heartwarming comedy with a cast of talented Lewis University students directed by Theatre Department Chairperson, Keith White of Joliet.

PLT production director, Keith White ‘77 partnered with Lewis alumnae, Lewis Sandra Bednarz Petersen ’12 of Woodridge, who works at Trinity Services, Inc. for a unique experience for the cast members of “The Boys Next Door.” Petersen is working on her dissertation in compassion fatigue for caring social workers. She arranged meetings for students to visit Trinity Services and meet with her clients. The PLT traditionally hosts a Wednesday morning matinee for area high school students between weekends of our public performance.

There were 120 patrons that attended the special matinee performance. Other area organizations included Cornerstone Services, the Center for Disability Services, the Joliet Disability Resource Center, and the Northern Will County Special Recreation Center.

At intermission, one patron exclaimed, “it’s sizzlingly funny.” The cast and crew met the patrons in the lobby following the performance. At 2 p.m. in the Studio Theatre, Petersen conducted a presentation on the history and current status of “Group Homes for People with Disabilities.” Petersen, who received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Social Work from Lewis University, helped immensely with the Lewis University students’ preparation for the production. The playwright has created characters who maintain their dignity and humanity in their neighborhood and world in which they exist.

The play will run October 5-8 and is recommended for patrons 13 years old and up. The evening performances are 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinees are 2:30 p.m. In addition, there is a matinee performance at 4 p.m. on October 7. Ticket prices are $10 for adult and $9 for students and seniors. Lewis students pay $2 with an ID. For groups of 15 or more tickets are $8. Tickets are non-refundable. For more information, patrons can check out the PLT Website at, or call the box office (815) 836-5500 Monday through Friday from 1-4:30 p.m. The theatre is located on the main campus, the Oremus Fine Arts Center on Route 53 in Romeoville.

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit for further information.

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