Theatre presents Neil Labute’s “The Shape of Things”

The Shape o fThingsBethany College Theatre presents Neil LaBute’s “The Shape of Things” on Nov. 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Burnett Center.

Tickets are available at the door. General admission is $7, senior citizens and Bethany college students, faculty, and staff are $5. Seating is limited to 50 each night so that the play may be performed in the round on stage. This play is for mature audiences as it contains adults themes and situations and strong language.

Associate Professor of Theatre Greg LeGault directs the four-member cast includes seniors Gwendolyn Woerpel, Nickerson, Kan., as Evelyn; Spencer Wesley, Salina, Kan., as Adam; and Jedidiah Duarte, Puebelo, Colo., as Phillip as well as sophomore Katia Matter, Jewell, Kan. as Jenny.

Members of the production team include students Mikhail Zhilin, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, as stage manager and Sarah Hill, Hermann, Mo., as art coordinator as well as Micah Hirschler as dramaturg and Dave Olsen as lighting assistant.

“The Shape of Things” is an intense, often humorous, and ultimately unsettling play that examines the ways in which power is wielded and yielded within relationships and the ethical boundaries at play in the relationship between art and life. Is all fair in either or both? If not, how far is too far when it comes to love? To art? These are the questions that LaBute explores in a play that has been described as “a modern retelling of the fall of man.”

Writing in The New Yorker, John Lahr describes Neil LaBute as a playwright who probes “the fascinating dark side of individualism, whose ultimate evil is an inability to imagine the suffering of others” and that the playwright’s “great gift is to live in and chronicle that murky area of not knowing, which mankind spends much of its waking life denying. Where does truth end and fiction begin? Is the fiction more valuable than the truth? Do the ends justify the means?”

Gordon Cox of Newsday states that in “The Shape of Things,” LaBute “dares to explore the ambivalence hiding under the weave of our social fabric” by tackling themes that are “no less than the subjectivity of love and the definition of art itself.”

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