Student Life Editor
If your calendar’s looking pretty empty this weekend or the next, Messiah’s Department of Theatre and Dance has the perfect way to fill your time.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, Anatomy of Gray opens and has a little something to offer to everyone, according to the actors.
The play, set in an 1880s Indiana town, is about a sickness that falls over the community and the social dynamic shifts that ensue when a healer, Dr. Gray, arrives on the scene. Tensions rise as distrust builds between the people and the doctor, who is searching for the cause of the plague.
“It’s a coming-to-age story, where the main character, June, realizes that what she was praying for was that she could grow up to become who she wanted to become,” says junior Tobias Nordlund, who plays the show’s title character, Dr. Gray.
“[The play] is an interesting dissection of this small town where the thing they need to survive is the thing that’s killing them,” says junior Anthony Johnson, who plays the role of the town pastor. “It’s a story about how we all come from love and loss.”
Johnson explains that there were many parallels he drew from the play that viewers can relate to. “It brings forth questions like, what happens when storms come? How do we face adversity and change?”
“The show has its funny moments, but also plenty of serious moments… you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll remember that you’re still human,” Johnson adds.
“It is something everyone can relate to – we all have lost someone we love or gone through painful experiences, and either cried out to God or wondered if he was even there,” says senior Theresa Strange, who plays Tiny Wingfield. “It will be a play that everyone will relate to on a deeper level, and hopefully make them think.”
Being a part of the Anatomy of Gray show has meant a pretty time-consuming but rewarding experience for the actors and team involved. “You get to know people very well when you work on a show with them and spend that much time together,” says Strange, who adds that she particularly enjoyed working with Daniel Inouye, a new Theatre professor at Messiah.
“The rehearsal process for this show was really good, because we were encouraged to just play with it, experiment, and discover our characters for ourselves,” adds Nordlund.
Johnson may have accidentally spoiled the ending for me, but I won’t give it away for the rest of you. You’ll just have to get your ticket to find out.
Show times are Nov. 12-14 and 19-21 at 8 p.m. in Miller Theatre. There will also be Sunday matinee showings on Nov. 15 and 22 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for guests/$7 for students and can be bought at the ticket office or online at messiah.edu/tickets.