The set of "Reckless" resembles a giant advent calendar.

Liars, cheats, and a contract out for the life of a young, suburban housewife. But don’t worry, it’s a comedy.

Jim Dick, first-time director at the University and manager of audience Services Department of Theatre, is preparing to present "Reckless," a play written by Craig Lucas about a young woman named Rachel who is thrust into a nightmare after her husband drops a figurative bomb on her.

“Here I am, just minding my own business,” said Jacquelyn O’Connor, the play’s lead speaking as Rachel. “I’m enjoying my perfect life with my perfect kids in my perfect home when out of nowhere my husband tells me he’s put a contract out on my head.”

O’Connor, a third-year senior at the University, said that she’s excited to not only be a part of the show, but also have the chance to play Rachel. She describes the character as “lovable, weird, crazy and a little naive.”

“It’s such a fun show,” O’Connor said. “This will be my first time as a lead at KU and I couldn’t be happier seeing as how it will also be my last show. I’m glad I get to go out on such a high note with such a fun and quirky production.”

Dick said that casting the lead was a difficult job, especially given that the lead has to perform in every scene without a break.

“I’m lucky I had Jacquelyn,” Dick said. “I needed someone with enormous stamina but who could also have the audience rooting for her at the same time. Rachel is such a lively and joyous character, and I believe that Jacquelyn does her justice.”

O’Connor isn’t the only one in need of rambunctious energy for the production, however. The very set of the play just screams holiday joy as it resembles an oversized advent calendar, complete with functioning doors.

“The story takes place in so many different scenes with ridiculously quick intervals,” Dick said. “It would’ve been impossible to show every scene so we decided to go with this huge advent calendar that serves two purposes: to open up to reveal set pieces for different scenes and to help express the Christmas spirit.”

Dick hopes that those who come to the show have a good time and take the opportunity to simply enjoy the dark comedy instead of finding deeper meaning or any social message.

“We’ve had some amazing shows this semester,” Dick said. “We’ve dealt with racism, domestic abuse, sexism — you name it. So I just wanted something to lighten the mood a little with some uncomplicated jokes and a fun time.”

That’s not to say that the production hasn’t instilled morals into those working on it; O’Connor credits this opportunity with teaching her how to be a leader.

“I’ve never had the role of being the leader in a production before,” O’Connor said. “But when we were rehearsing and getting ready, I felt an obligation to help everyone out when I could, she said. "

She added: "I remember when I was a freshman how the seniors would encourage me and give me pointers, and I’m really glad that I was able to pass that along before I graduated.”

O’Connor also said that the story taught her the meaning of impermanence and how nothing really lasts forever — a message that the senior has taken to heart as she starts thinking about the next chapter in her life.

“It’s not a heavy play,” O’Connor said. “But you do see someone caught up in this 'perfect' life have everything flipped upside down out of the blue and I think you get an idea of how you never really know what’s going to happen so you better enjoy everything you can until then.”

"Reckless" is set to open this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at $15 a ticket, or $10 if ordered in advance. The performance will also be showing Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m., as well as Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

 — Edited by Leah Sitz