Old Script Given New Life

Richard Marsh/Dearborn Press and Guide/August 1987

On Borrowed Time is one of those fantasy plays written in the first half of the twentieth century such as Outward Bound, Death Takes A Holiday, and Heaven Can Wait. More often than not, these shows dealt with our relationship to cosmic forces in the universe, such as death.

On Borrowed Time follows an elderly man and his wife who are caring for their recently orphaned grandson. Problems arise when the child’s aunt wants custody because of the boy’s $500,000 inheritance, and a mysterious Mr. Brink shows up to take the grandfather to the great beyond.

Anchored by some masterful directing, topnotch acting, wonderful makeup, and Popovich’s dandy special effects, HFCC’s version of this show is one of the school’s more memorable productions. Leading the cast were Lewis Sequin as Julian Northrop (Gramps) and Joey Oravec as Pud. The interaction between the two was endearing. The most memorable performance was that of Jim Shimina as the angelic Mr. Brink. His portrayal combined with the special effects depicting him trapped in the tree proved to be a magical and spectacular moment in the show.

Others in the cast included Lydia Roman as Nellie, Star Bleedsoe and Elaine Puruleski alternating as Marcia Giles and Ms. Philbeam, Rose Temper as Demetria Riffle, Brenda Boyd as Dr. Evans, James Bergstrom as Mr. Grimes, Thomas P. Korte as the Sherif, Eva-Dean Wiberg and Judith Johnson as workmen.

The complicated prosthetic makeup used in the show was a daring feat for a college show, adding significantly to the characterizations of the actors. 

George Popovich did an excellent job both in directing as well as with the special effects. This show is a magical fantasy in the hands of a masterful cast and director. Not to miss!

1987 Page Award Winners
Best Young Performer: Joey Oravec


  • Pud: Joey Oravec
  • Granny: Lydia Romano
  • Gramps: Lew Sequin
  • Mr. Brink: Jim Shimina
  • Demetria Riffle: Rose Teper
  • A Boy: Eva-Dean Wiberg
  • Workmen: Eva-Dean Wiberg
  • Dr. Evans: Brenda Boyd
  • Ms. Philbeam: Elaine Puruleski
  • Mr. Grimes: James Bergstrom
  • Sheriff: Thomas P. Korte
  • Betty: Herself
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