Knox Theatre Explores Family, Social Conflict
"A Lie of the Mind," by Sam Shepard, Feb. 23-26
February 16, 2011
The Knox College Department of Theatre and Dance presents "A Lie of the Mind," by Sam Shepard, at 7:30 p.m., nightly, from February 23 through 26 in Harbach Theatre, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and Knox College alumni, and free to all Knox students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available at the door one hour before each performance, or by making advance reservations at 309-341-7472.
"Shepard has described his play as 'a love ballad, a little legend about love'," says the director Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, professor of theatre. "I believe that it also delivers a message that our yearning for security through wealth and power leads to a social economics of competition, possession, mistrust, and betrayal. Shepard presents his characters and stories as challenges to the audience and the actors alike, inviting them to throw off passivity and to feel deeply. Perhaps then we can reconnect with our inner selves and the sources of our own myths."
Photos: Top of page, Joey Firman as Jake, Christopher Bakka as Frankie, in the background, Mya Kahler as Beth and Keegan Siebken as Mike; Above, Kate LaRose as Meg, Kahler and Siebken; right, Bakka, Firman.
The student cast features Christopher Bakka as Frankie, Kathleen Donoghue as Sally, Joey Firman as Jake, Mya Kahler as Beth, Kate LaRose as Meg, Nellie Ognacevic as Lorraine, Keegan Siebken as Mike and Jimmy Thorton as Baylor. Students in the production crew include Warren Grabner, assistant director; Lauren Neiheisel, stage manager; Devin Harvie and Katrina Rudolph, assistant stage managers; Avery Wigglesworth, movement director; Emily Harvey, sound designer; Franzesca Mayer, makeup design; Sam Brownson, music composition; and Jack Dryden and Alex Lindgren, videography design.
The play won the 1986 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play. It also won a 2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival.
"A Lie of the Mind" was last performed at Knox in 1989, directed by Robert Whitlatch, the Robert M. and Katherine A. Seeley Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre. Whitlatch says he views the play as "a dark comedy about the contrast between the idealized American family, always warm and loving, and the realities of family turmoil and conflict." Whitlatch, who retired from teaching in 2009, recalls it as "one of my favorite plays and one of the productions of which I remain most proud."
The 1989 cast featured Michael Ferraro, John Rodgers, Jennifer Voortman, Joseph Lennon, Molly Mullowney, Amy Carlson, Mark Yoder and Jamie Querciagrossa. An award-winning actor, Carlson has worked in film and television and is currently featured in the NBC series "Blue Bloods. The 1989 Knox production was designed by former Knox faculty member Thomas Frohling, a veteran film and television production designer who received an Art Directors Guild Nomination his work on the NBC series "Las Vegas." Frohling's son Sean is a 2010 Knox graduate.
Photos from 1989: above right, Amy Carlson as Sally, Molly Mullowney as Lorraine; below; the 1989 cast, from left, John Rodgers, Jennifer Voortman, Mark Yoder, Jamie Querciagrossa, Joseph Lennon, Michael Ferraro, Molly Mullowney, and Amy Carlson.
Co-designers of costumes for the 1989 production were Margo Shively and Ronnah Metz. Among those in the audience for the February 1989 production was a current faculty member, Craig Choma, at the time a prospective student visiting campus. Choma enrolled at Knox that fall, graduating with a degree in theatre and philosophy.