Theater braces for a different type of season

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By Department of Theater Box Office 

The Theater Department begins its season this week with 20/20 Vision: a hybrid of Zoom recordings from current students & alumni. The collection is a celebration of all the ways theater has impacted McPherson College over the years. Visit: https://www.mcpherson.edu/programs/theatre/ for more information. 

“Molly Sweeney” by Brian Friel: Online, November 

“Molly Sweeney” tells the story of one woman’s journey from blindness to vision.  Presented as a metaphor for all of us as what we choose to see and choose to not see in our daily lives, Molly is a story for our digital age. Starring Alpha Psi Omega members Grace van Asselt, Tony Carpenter and Harvey Yeoman. 

“Dutchman,” one-act drama by Amiri Baraka: Online, January rated PG-13 

Originally produced in 1964, “Dutchman” presents an encounter between a black man and a white woman. This production is a modern retelling as together we face a new civil rights movement in 2020. Warning: contains frank language, sexual imagery & violence. Starring newcomers Javon Davis and JailynnHammel. 

“Puffs” by Matt Cox: March 11, 12 & 13  

“Puffs” tells a story of a boy who goes to a famous wizard school in England, makes two best friends and has adventures. No, not that wizard. It’s Wayne Hopkins, sorted into the Puffs house. In the basement next to the kitchen with his fellow Puffs, we all can remember that third place is okay when you’re the hero in your own stories. Come experience this retelling of a famous story about the one who should not be named… because legal agreements forbid us from mentioning his name. 

“Native Gardens” by Karen Zacharias: April 22,23 and 24 

In the suburbs, a couple move into their dream home. Unfortunately, their neighbors prefer that the neighborhood remain what it has always been. Who owns neighborhood culture: the people that have been there the longest or the people who originally owned the land? When tempers flare, can people from different backgrounds and ideals compromise for what’s best for the neighborhood?  

The department faces challenges such as selecting pieces that could be filmed, ensuring safe performance spaces, adapting acting and design for film, and how to build sets using strict social distancing and tool sharing protocols. “Theatre in itself is always a grand experiment. 2020 has brought much stress, it’s also become a period of great growth,” said Professor Jen Pollard. 

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