Dr. Rick Tyler, professor of speech and theatre, carves a Styrofoam tree for use on the set of "Dark of the Moon"
For a theatre season that leans a little dark, "Dark of the Moon" has an appropriate title for the opening play.
"It sets the tone for our season," said Jd. Bowman, associate professor of theatre and director. "This show is dark and our season is a little on the dark side this time."
"Dark of the Moon" by Howard Richardson and William Berney will show Sept. 13-15 and tells the story of a boy from the realm of the supernatural named John who makes a deal to become human if he can convince his love, Barbara Allen, to marry and be faithful to him for a year. Throughout, they have to battle the preconceptions and hatred of the other people in the town in a plot reminiscent of "Romeo and Juliet." The story takes place in Appalachia and is infused with the music of the region.
The play is also the senior show for Langston Rhynes, senior, Garland, Texas. Rhynes plays Preacher Haggler, a role which he was able to research by watching his own father, a minister.
He said the message of the story is not to judge people before you know them, and saw parallels with John and Barbara's struggle to marry with more modern issues in marriage. At its base, however, the plot is an old and basic one.
"It truly is a love story," Rhynes said. "The whole time in the show, they're fighting to be one."
Still, Bowman said there is nuance to the story for those who watch closely.
"The show is a love story, but its deeper themes discuss how a person or group should not follow leaders blindly," Bowman said. "You need to be a critical thinker. Don’t swoon at charisma. Don’t be swept up by the tide. Stop, analyze and think about what is happening around you. This is a good production for a college campus that's developing new thinkers."
All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to all shows cost $5 for adults and $3.50 for children ages high school and younger as well as seniors. Reservations may be made by contacting the theatre box office at 620-242-0444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crew for "Dark of the Moon" is: Bowman, director and sound design; Dr. Rick Tyler, professor of speech and theatre, set design, technical director and lighting design; Jacob Locke, junior, Wichita, Kan., sound design; Justin Biegger, senior, Fuquay Varina, N.C.; and Kenyatta Harden, senior, McPherson, Kan., propmaster.