Theater department busy rehearsing for two upcoming plays

By Jake Fain

Staff Writer

Photo by Anne Richoux
Allison Hearn, junior theatre major, rehearses her role for ‘A Barrel Full of Pennies’, which will open Oct. 5 in W.D. Powell Theatre.

Each semester, Union hosts a number of plays at W.D. Powell Theatre on campus. These productions, normally separated between fall and spring, always tie in a significant lesson or idea for the audience to take away.

Faith is a common subject.

Christopher Bennett, an adjunct director and Union University alumni, will open the fall theater season with the comedy “A Barrel Full Of Pennies,” written by John Patrick.

The play takes place in the home of Adonis Samaritan. 

Samaritan is a husband and father who opens his home to everyone in need. In fact, Samaritan is giving and trusting to a fault. 

Bennett will open the play Oct. 5, with an undecided number of shows following.

David Burke, professor of theatre and director of the theatre, has chosen for his fall production “Doubt: A Parable,” a dramatic script written by John Patrick Shanley and set in the time of 1964 during the civil rights movement.

The location is a small Catholic school and church located in the Bronx, New York. Characters include a middle-aged pastor, two nuns and a middle-aged mother.

The play’s primary conflict involves an accusation of the preacher, who is said to have committed a heinous act. The audience will be taken through a hard-pressed and emotional investigation into the supposed event, which will primarily be set in the eldest nun’s office area. For Burke, the primary concept behind the play is in the name.

“It’s about the necessity of doubt,” Burke said. “What he (Shanley) is suggesting is that there is no such thing as untested faith.”

Shanley believes faith should not be something that is blindly inherited but rather should be a key factor in a person’s search for identity, Burke said.

Peter Riggs, a junior philosophy major, will play Father Brendan Flynn. This will be Riggs’ most dramatic role since he became a regular on the Union stage. 

This is by far my favorite script that I’ve read,” Riggs said. “I’m looking forward to taking on this character. It’s a new kind of role for me. But I know people are going to love it.”

Jillian Barron, senior double major in French and theater, will play Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the eldest nun.

I’m very excited to play this role in particular,” Barron said, “I’ve never really played a role like this. She is a full, true character and not just a stereotype.”

This will be Barron’s final semester on the Union stage after starring in nine other Union productions. Barron plans to attend graduate school to complete her education in French.

Doubt: A Parable” will open Nov. 8 with two showings on the first day. The play will continue to run through Nov. 13.  For more information, call the theatre department at 661-5287.

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