The Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Department will present five performances of its Fall theatrical production "John Proctor is the Villain," directed by Dr. Patrick King, LMC Instructor of Theatre.
Performances are 7 p.m. Nov. 10, 11, 17, and 18 and 3 p.m. Nov. 19 in the LMC Mendel Center Hanson Theatre on the Benton Harbor Campus. Tickets are on sale now through the Mendel Center box office.
In present-day Georgia, a high-school class reads Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" as their community wrestles with an outbreak of scandal. The young women in class grapple with authority and articulate their truths despite skepticism. Kimberly Belflower's play explores the power of pop and dance music, high school breakups, sex education, the Me Too movement, alternately dull and rowdy class discussions, rumors and gossip, and what it is to grow into a young adult in America today. The production contains adult language and thematic material, including a frank discussion of sexual misconduct.
"I've had this play at the top of my pile for a few years,” King said. “I am struck by how well Belflower captures the voice and dynamics of this stage of life, of young people beginning to think for themselves and grapple with the complications of the world they're entering as they finish their high school years. The play is uncompromising in many ways, capturing its protagonists' bravery and agency in the face of an often deeply unjust and uncaring world. Still, it is also, paradoxically, fun, with a playfulness and spirit that overcomes the circumstances forced on these students."
Cast members are Michael Bond as Carter Smith; Dajia Smith as Shelby Holcomb; Victoria Fox as Beth Powell; Tyena Taylor as Nell Shaw; Danielle Jacobson as Ivy Watkins; Natalie Rieli as Raelynn Nix; Max Babcock as Mason Adams; Andy Beeson as Lee Turner; Einra Leie as Bailey Gallagher; Ne'Sha Heard-Bettison, Tayah Lewis, Kyle McAndrew, Kara Shepard, and Emma Stoppenbach as Ensemble.
"We have a fantastic mix of new and returning students in this ensemble and behind the scenes,” King said. “They use their relatively recent high school experiences to create unique and detailed portrayals of characters who find themselves in a truly overwhelming environment. We are also lucky to have Michael Bond as a guest artist in the ensemble. This group has demonstrated profound insight, nuance, and a sense of daring playfulness that brings Belflower's play to life."
In addition to King as the director, the production team consists of Kelsey Trux, assistant director; Scott Meyer, set designer; Beth Ward, costume designer; Courtney Abbott, intimacy coordinator; Alix Bauer, stage manager and lighting designer; Connor Farr, assistant stage manager; Alan Selvidge, sound design; Kyra Utroske, scenic painter; and Kyle McAndrew, propmaster.
"John Proctor is the Villain" is presented by a special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC, servicing the Dramatists Play Services collection. (www.dramatists.com)
Admission is $18 for adults $12 for seniors, and all students are admitted free. Tickets are on sale now at www.TheMendelCenter.com/events, by calling 269-927-8700, option 1, or by visiting the Mendel Center box office in person. The box office is open weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. and two hours before events.
About the Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Department
The Visual & Performing Arts Department allows students to reach new levels of excellence through classroom instruction and public performance. Many programs, including theatre, instrumental and vocal music, and dance, are based in the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center, the only performing arts center of its kind in Southwest Michigan. Here, LMC students have opportunities to study the performing arts in a venue that attracts more than 100,000 patrons annually. Programs including drawing, painting, and graphic design allow students to explore the possibilities in the visual arts.
Auditions are held for select ensembles that perform on the same stages as world-renowned touring acts. Students in any major also have opportunities to audition for Broadway musicals and plays and join two different vocal ensembles, string and wind ensembles, a pop-rock ensemble, a drumline, and a jazz band. One of only two colleges in Michigan to carry the prestigious All-Steinway designation, LMC has a team of highly qualified faculty that bring real-world expertise to the classroom.
For more information about the Visual and Performing Arts department and performances, visit lakemichigancollege.edu/arts, email email@example.com, or call 269-927-8876.
The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, Mich.
Posted October 18, 2023