Tuesday, September 20, 2011
One Week From Tonight... "The Children's Hour" at IWU
Tickets are now available for Illinois Wesleyan University's School of Theatre Arts' fall opener, "The Children's Hour." Lillian Hellman's 1934 play about the dark power of rumors and lies opens next Tuesday, September 27, at McPherson Theatre, with performances through Sunday, October 2.
Tom Quinn, who directed "Trojan Women" at McPherson Theatre last year, takes a very different look at women and children in "The Children's Hour," where Martha and Karen, two young teachers, struggle to keep their new boarding school up and running in the face of malicious behavior from a disobedient pupil. The student, Mary Tilford, doesn't want to do what her teachers tell her, so she twists some overheard words into a full-scale scandal, telling her indulgent grandmother, who happens to have money and influence, that Martha and Karen are lesbian lovers. Mary's grandmother starts spreading that story to other parents, too, who immediately yank their daughters out of the school. Martha and Karen protest their innocence, but the lies are already spiraling out of control, affecting Karen's relationship with her fiance and threatening every single thing in their lives.
"The Children's Hour" kind of upends that whole cliche about "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you." Nasty little Mary Tilford is proof positive that words can definitely hurt.
For Illinois Wesleyan, Christine Polich plays Karen, with Elaina Henderson as Martha and Abby Root as little Mary, the lying liar who lies. Kirsten Andersen, Roz Prickel, Amanda Williams, Michael Holding, Rachel Grimes, Lizzie Rainville, Sammi Grant, Chantericka Tucker, Abby Dryden, Angela Jos, Elliott Plowman, Fiona Peterson-Quinn and Delia Kerr-Dennhart round out the cast.
Scenic Designer Aaron O’Neil will recreate the boarding school on stage at McPherson Theatre.
For more information on IWU's "The Children's Hour," click here. You'll find the whole 2011-12 schedule here with box office information here.