Two Ball State alumni, now acting professionals, will perform side-by-side in Chicago this summer.

The play is called “The Adventures of Spirit Force Five.” Tommy Bullington and Elise Davis said the play has a strong sense of humor with music.

For Davis, a 2011 theater education alumna, said comedy and theater can be a remedy for a world that is going through struggles.

“I think with everything that’s going on in the world. I think there’s so much sadness and anger, and all of it is completely valid. But I’m excited to allow people to escape for an hour,” Davis said. “I want to be able to allow the audience to forget about any worries or fears or frustrations for an hour and be able to release it into laughter.” he play is a combination of parodies including “Lord of the Rings,” “Power Rangers” and 1990s television shows. Bullington said the play has an element of sisterhood, self-love and belief. 

Davis plays a villian character, Lady Mauron.

“I get to live out one of my lifelong dreams and be the villain,” Davis said. “It has been so much fun.”

Bullington, who graduated in 2009 with a musical theater option major, is performing a handful of roles in the ensemble section of the play.

Bullington said he enjoys ensemble work because it allows him to show many different sides of his abilities. At Ball State, he said ensemble work was very important within the program.

Bullington said he realized musical theater was something he wanted to do for a career when he arrived at Ball State. He said at the time, Ball State was one of the few places that provided a specific musical theater degree. 

“Professionalism and genuine desire and passion for your art will always outweigh talent,” Bullington said. “You can always be talented but you have to be somebody that people want to work with and want to create art with.”

While Davis did not pursue an acting-focused major, she did participate in many different projects and shows in college to help progress her acting abilities.  

“I just really got into a mindset of just, like, hitting the ground running and doing anything that I could get my hands on,” Davis said.

Bullington said the connections between Chicago theater and the Ball State theater program are deep as he has found himself working with other Ball State graduates. 

“It’s kind of an easy case to why you would want to come to Chicago to pursue theater when you talk to some of the faculty at Ball State and their experiences with this city and this like incredible theater scene that’s just kind of a secret weapon,” Bullington said.

Bullington and Davis both said they are excited to work together because they didn’t really get the chance to in college.  

“It’s been a lot of fun and he has such great comedic timing and ideas,” Davis said. “I’m just so excited to play with him every night.” 

The show will preview June 29 to July 1, with the actual run occurring July 6 to Aug. 11 at Factory Theater.

Contact Andrew Harp with comments at adharp@bsu.edu or on Twitter @adharp24.