By Erik Ehn
Last fall on the Second Stage, the Theatre Arts Department was proud to share a workshop production of five texts from Erik Ehn's ongoing series "The Saints Plays." The University of Redlands performance included Wholly Joan's (Joan of Arc), 16670 (Maximilian Mary Kolbe), The Freak (George), Tree of Hope, Keep Firm (Mary, the Annunciation), and Little Sister Death (Francis).
The diverse collection of plays is part of an ongoing cycle loosely based on the lives of saints and biblical characters. Placing the protagonists and their suffering in a modern context, the playwright produces what he calls "contemporary fairy tales for the stage." Viewing the exploded biography of a Saint as "a human mandala, a life in a ritual shape held up as a focus for contemplation," Ehn writes plays for an esthetic he names Big Cheap Theater, inviting the symbolic awareness of our own path in an open-ended creative continuum.
Directed by Nephelie Andonyadis, the cast and collaborative team investigated these dense and poetic plays with a curious and exploratory mindset, using a variety of theatrical approaches and styles to unlock their rhythms, patterns and ritual forms, and to discover their visual, visceral and aural possibilities. Weaving a variety of puppetry styles into the works, and incorporating design elements into the process, this workshop production invited the audience to join in the theatre's hospitality as a space in which to come together to consider our own lives in relation to those of the saints.
December 5-7, 2007
|Stage Manager||Tanya Apuya|
|Set Designer||Haley Keim|
|Costume Designer||Michaela Petrovich|
|Lighting Designer||Chris Akerlind|
|Sound Designer||Dan Cork|
|Leah Delaporta||Victoria Patton|
|Heather Engstrom||Laurel Reeves|
|Laurie German||Nathan Riley|
|Emily Graham||Dan Stong|
|Lauren Hohle||Chris Suziki|
|Melissa Lee||Shannon Unser|
|Kathleen McCarthy||Nick Zaharopoulos|