“Fat Pig” addresses social stigmas

man and woman at table

Last Tuesday night the "Fat Pig" play premiered in Vonnie Borden Theatre starring
Trey Tycer as Thomas and Lydia Caballero as Helen. 
The Lion's Roar / Emily Stephan

Fat Pig, a play by Neil LaBute was performed for students, staff and guests this week.

Unlike earlier productions put on this semester, “Fat Pig” tackled the stigma of weight.

“You get really emotionally involved [watching the play] because you can see the perspective of how your words and actions can really affect not only yourself and your friends, but other innocent people who are just looking to be accepted,” said Laney Eiland, a member of the production’s makeup crew.

The heroine Helen is intelligent, witty and comfortable with her body. Southeastern student Lydia Caballero, who performed in front of the curtains for the first time, played the role of Helen. Louisiana State University student Trey Tycer played the male lead Thomas. His character is easily influenced by the opinions of others around him.

The two characters meet in the first scene while grabbing lunch, and they strike up a conversation dominated by Helen and decide to go out again that weekend.

When Thomas goes to work following, the two remaining characters are introduced. Carter, played by Jaimee Rome, is Thomas’ friend and coworker. She is sarcastic and judgmental, embodying what the majority of the population would feel about Helen: disapproval because she is overweight.

“Carter’s [perspective] is easy. People want to take the easy way out. You always want to agree with your friends; you want to make fun of anybody that is not you to build yourself up. And that is what people need to realize: it is not about building yourself up by bringing others down, it is about building yourself up together,” said Eiland.

The play premiered last Tuesday night and will run through Friday, Nov. 21.  

The set includes various locations on different height levels on the stage, showing the place where Helen and Thomas first met, Thomas’ work place, the restaurant where they go eat, Thomas’ bedroom and the beach they are at during the final scene. When a scene was about to begin only that section would light up while the others would be kept in shadow.

The show had an abrupt ending, and left audience members confused.

“In movies you see what is happening but go, ‘oh, it will be happy in the end,’ but it really isn’t that way in life. It makes the audience feel like ‘yea, we know it is going to be this way’ but there has to be something happier at the end,” said Rebecca Miller, the production’s temporary house manager.