Theater department presents ‘The God Of Hell’

Shari Smith

A rehearsal of the show The God of Hell on Tuesday Nov. 14, 2017, two nights before the opening night on Thursday Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson

The theater department will run the production “The God of Hell” Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m to Nov. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Bea Wood Theater in the Fain Fine Arts B-wing.

According to Sally Story, assistant professor of theater, the play centralizes on a middle aged, mid-western dairy farming couple that live a peaceful life in Wisconsin. While a little po-dunk town in Wisconsin isn’t exactly Wichita Falls, Texas, Story said she believes the themes, written in reaction to George W. Bush’s response to Sept. 11, are relevant today.

“He had a war on terror and created homeland security,” Story said. “Sam Shepard had an adverse reaction to that, meaning he felt our freedoms were being taken away. ‘Big Brother’ was watching us, and it’s relevant even today with our current president.”

Shae Dorsman, stage manager and tech theater junior, said she believes the election has had a tremendous political impact and this play is pertinent to the political climate in the world today.

“Wichita Falls is such a small town, I am interested to see how people react to the show,” Dorsman said. “It is so absurd that it could almost be real in the crazy world we live in now.”

Story said the theater department is focusing on the theme of social activism, and she hopes the show will encourage people to think deeply about what is going on in society.

“We wanted to choose plays that kind of made a statement about society and made you leave the theater saying ‘that is pretty awful,’ and ‘that’s pretty serious or interesting,’ just to make you think a little more about what’s going on in society,” Story said.

While she wants people to be intrigued by the play, Dorsman said she expects this show to encourage people to question their political views, and how little control they have over our government.

After weeks of auditions and rehearsals, the cast members are excited for their performances. Shannon Howerton Jr., theater senior, plays Frank, a lead in the show along side his wife, Emma, portrays by Victoria Chaney, theater performance sophomore. The show has only four characters, so it would be short and concise, getting straight to the point.

“I am honestly really excited about it,” Shannon Howerton Jr., theater senior, said. “We have a great group of people. It’s been a blast working with them, and each rehearsal has had it’s fair share of laughter among us do to the absurdity of the play.”

Nicholas Hoover, theater performance freshman, who plays Haynes, said he is looking forward to the performances.

“This will be my first time on stage here, and I’m eagerly awaiting to see all of my fellow cast and crew members hard work over the past couple months come to fruition,” Hoover said.

After all the hours spent readying this production, Jacob Turnbow, theater senior who plays Welch, said he has loved working on the show and discussing the political scene in a fun manner.

Jorrey Martin, special education senior, said she wants to try something new in her senior year and this production sparked her interest; however, not just theater students are excited for the play.

“I always enjoy the productions from our theater department,” Serah Welborn, English senior, said. “I usually get to see my friends perform, and I am excited for this show because it’s always something different.”