Event: Goshen College Peace Play – “History Lesson,” by Frankie Little Hardin
Date and time: Friday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Umble Center
Cost: $5. Tickets can be purchased online at goshen.edu/tickets, by calling 574-535-7566 or at the door
For The Goshen College Theater Department, Homecoming weekend, October 5-7, marks the debut performance of Frankie Little Hardin’s “History Lesson,” the winning play in the 2018 Goshen College Peace Play Contest—the only contest devoted solely to plays about peace and peace-related topics in the United States.
“History Lesson” focuses on environmental issues—the first peace play winner to do so.
On a stormy day at the Kentucky state historic site, an assortment of visiting strangers are trapped together in the Audubon Museum; an irresistible destination for those fascinated by birds. As the storm intensifies, secrets are found out, bonds are formed, and history as these birders knew it will never be the same. With a focus on environmental issues and the greater good, “History Lesson” is a thought-provoking one act for all ages.
The National Audubon Society is among the oldest conservation agencies in the world and has nearly 500 local chapters. Founded in 1905, the National Audubon Society focuses on the protection and preservation of the over 900 bird species in the United States.
“History Lesson” takes place in the present day and tackles both the history of the Audubon Society and the ever-pressing issue of climate change.
“This free flying meditation on our passion for feathered things is part history lesson, part environmental message. It examines our past and future: our shared complicity in both preserving and hastening the extinction of species,” said Hardin.
Hardin, the winning playwright, is from Newnan, Georgia, and is the first in a slate of talented female playwrights to be featured in Umble Center’s 2018-19 lineup. Hardin first broke onto the national stage with her play “Rachel & The Songbirds,” a semi-finalist in the 2011 Drury University One-Act Competition. She has since continued to release successful works, including 2012 Robert Chesley Award winner, “Love v. Duty,” a drama about a same-sex couple and their relationship dynamic as they fight for their rights in the court of law.
“Frankie immediately connected with the ethos of GC,” said Caskey. “She’s really excited to be here.”
“History Lesson,” will make its debut at Goshen College’s Umble Center. The play is directed by Ben Meyer Reimer ’19, who has established himself in the theater department with his roles in GC’s productions of Mother Hicks (2017), The Pirates of Penzance (2016), Red Herring (2016) and others. Meyer Reimer will be directing his second play at GC, having made his directorial debut with last year’s spring one acts.
“We’ve enjoyed working with the realism of Hardin’s characters to connect personally with audiences, allowing the audience to question where they stand on issues of social justice and why,” Meyer Reimer said. “I look forward to audience reactions to the characters’ conflicts, often with no clear antagonist, and who they sympathize with as we discuss the problems of separating the good we can create in the world versus the bad it often costs.”
Performances of “History Lesson” will take place Friday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.. Tickets are $5, and are available online at goshen.edu/tickets, by calling at 574-535-7566, or at the door one hour before the show. Following each one of the performances will be a talkback session with Hardin where audience members will be able to ask questions about the process and thought behind writing the play.
The Goshen College Peace Play Contest was originally underwritten in 1982 by a grant from the Disciples of Peace, a former Middlebury (Ind.) charitable fellowship, and is now made possible through audience contributions.
CAST AND PRODUCTION TEAM
Ranger Sue: Cara Wilson
Thomas: Gavin Rusel
Bitsy: Olivia Smucker
Tim: Jeremiah Sherrill
Barb: Madeline Smith Kauffman
Bella: Dali Rodriguez
Director: Ben Meyer Reimer
Technical Director: Phil Weaver-Stoesz
Producer: Anna Kurtz Kuk
Stage Manager: Gwen Stephan
Set and Props Designer: Phil Weaver-Stoesz
Light Designer: Aaron Kaufmann
Costume Designer: Lauren Myers
Sound Designer: Claire Mitchel
Hair & Make-Up Designer: Abigail Greaser
Assistant Technical Director: Ben Meyer Reimer
Assistant Stage Managers: Gabriella Klopfenstein, Anna McVay
Props Assistant: Katy Thornthwaite, Debbie Richards
Costume Assistant: Gianna Hochstetler
Sound Assistant: Jacob Claassen
Light Board Operator: Adam Hinegardner
Sound Board Operator: Jacob Claassen
Master Carpenter: Levi Glick
Master Electrician: Nathan Berkey
Poster/Program Design: Kristin Troyer
Previous winners of the Peace Play Contest are:
1982 – “The Dove, the Hawk and the Phoenix,” by Norman A. Bert
1984 – “After the First Death,” by Richard Strayton
1986 – “Shadows,” by Scott Memmer
1988 – “Eminent Domain” by Ronald L. Dye
1990 – “Rock In A Weary Land” by Marian Towne
1994 – “Andromache in Baghdad” by Norma Jenckes
1998 – “Bombers” by Jonathan Graham, first place; and “Catch a Falling Star” by Darrel deChabey, second place
2000 – “Where Are You From?” by Helayne Schiff, first place; and “Topaz” by Kenny Berkowitz, second place
2002 – “The Photo Shoot” by John Wolfson, first place; and “The Story” by Rebecca Schwarz, second place
2004 – “Enough” by Patricia Montley, first place; and “In a Time of War” by Eric Diener Meyer, second place
2006 – “Baby Boom” by Lia Romeo, first place, and “Acts of Contrition” by Patricia Montley, second place
2008 – “Here to Serve You” by Barbara Lindsay, first place; and “29 Questions” by Hillary Rollins, second place
2010 – “A Gentler Place” by Jeff Carter, first place; and “Pedestrian Casualty, Bronx USA” by Nina Mansfield, second place
2012 – “Mr. Maurizio” by Mic Weinblatt, first place; “Seldom is Heard” by Mary Steelsmith, second place; “Stay Tuned,” by 1999 Goshen College graduate Peter Eash-Scott, honorable mention
2014 – “Out From Under With Mary” by Chris Shaw Swanson, first place; “I Scream, You Scream” by Mattie Rydalch, second place; and “Daughters of Africa” by Andrew Ade, honorable mention
2016 – “Party Favors” by Cary Pepper
2018 – “History Lesson” by Frankie Little Hardin