Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Saint Mary’s theatre students to perform in London, Ireland

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University theatre majors will stage the highly theatrical disturbing docu-drama “God’s Country” from Oct. 19-23 at TARA Studio in London and Nov. 29-30 at Smock Alley Studio Theatre in Ireland.

Written by Steven Dietz, the emotionally gripping plot takes a close look at the shocking history of the white supremacist movement in the USA. “God’s Country” revolves around various right-wing organizations that, collectively, comprise the so-called “Identity Movement.” The play covers all bases of the right-wing lunatic fringe, but essentially it focuses on three narrative spines: the trial in Seattle of a paramilitary group which calls itself “The Order”; the career and murder of Denver talk-radio personality Alan Berg (outspoken, controversial and Jewish) “assassinated” by The Order; and, finally, the hate-filled career and death of The Order’s founder, Robert Matthews. These narratives are not presented in a linear fashion, but are interwoven, sometimes non-chronologically, amongst a barrage of statistics and facts into a kaleidoscopic and highly theatrical vision. It’s presentation couldn’t be more timely — and, sad to say, timeless.

Qualified theatre majors at Saint Mary's are studying theatre in London, England, this semester through the Stefannié Valéncia Kierlin Theatre in London Program. Under the guidance of Saint Mary’s faculty, the program will include a variety of classes in theatre, as well as courses focusing on broader enrichment. Students will have the unique opportunity to attend numerous performances at London’s West End, Off-West End, and Fringe theatres.

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc., “God’s Country” is directed by Dr. Gary Diomandes. Also participating are: Michael Dold, stage manager; Josh Lentner, lighting designer; Greg Freeman, sound designer; and performers Darrell Fair, Maggie Allexsaht, Annie Ivansek, Regina Harris, Joanna Mills, Jarod Boltjes, Tom Conry, Rick Baustian, Jacob Rivet, David Dean, Matthew Gorgone, Laurence Alliston-Greiner and Shane Nippard.