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Feb. 17, 2014
There have been countless definitions and interpretations of “family,” but perhaps none quite as disparaging as the one uttered by Lee Blessing’s character Evelyn Briggs – “each generation destroying itself willingly, for what comes after” – in his 1985 play “Independence.” The play comes to a Northwest Missouri State University stage this week.
“'Independence' paints broad strokes on so many issues — responsibility and freedom, manipulation and guilt, gender and sexual orientation just to name a few,” said Dr. Joe Kreizinger, the show’s director and associate professor of theatre. “Yet it is not a play solely about any of those. At its base, it is a play about family.”
The setting is the small town of Independence, Iowa, the lifelong home of Evelyn Briggs (Helen Strotman). Her oldest daughter, Kess (Megan Oliver), is a university professor in Minneapolis, but she has come home at the request of her sister, Jo (Dana Masters), who is concerned for Evelyn's mental health.
Kess, a professed lesbian, wants to cut her family ties once and for all. Jo, an incurable romantic and longtime virgin, has now become pregnant. And Sherry (Nataleigh Brull), salty-tongued and amoral, wants only to finish high school so she can leave home for good. In the end, there is no accommodation possible but, instead, only a kind of arbitrary independence for each of the protagonists, as they come to realize that each must find her own heaven — or hell — in her own way.
The curtain rises on “Independence” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, through Saturday, Feb. 22 in the Studio Theater located in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. The production also includes an afternoon performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23.
Tickets are $8 per person and may be purchased between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Student Services Center located on the first floor of the Administration Building; by phone at 660.562.1212; or at the door beginning one hour before the show. Patrons wishing to order tickets over the phone may call 660.562.1212 and must have a valid credit card. Tickets purchased at the Student Services Center can be purchased via cash or check.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468