WHAT: Farewell To Eden, a national award winning play written by Mahonri Stewart and directed by Kathryn Laycock Little.
WHEN: January 15-25, 2010. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, with 2 pm matinees on Saturdays.
WHERE: The Provo Theatre (100 North, 105 East, Provo, UT 84606)
TICKETS: $12 for general public; $10 for students and seniors; and $9 for groups over 10 people. Tickets will be sold at the door. A system for pre-sales or reservations has not been set up yet, but may be soon. If that occurs, that information will be re-sent.
Mahonri Stewart’s play Farewell To Eden is being performed for the first time since UVU’s premiere production of the show won national awards through the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival six years ago. The newly minted Zion Theatre Company is producing the revival on January 15-25, at the Provo Theatre (100 North, 105 East, Provo).
The play tells the story of Georgiana Highett and her siblings Thomas and Catherine, living in Victorian England, 1840. Georgiana is a high bred intellectual of the upper classes, who has more than a dash of progressive, pre-feminist leanings, but also has the harsh views on class, typical of the time period. Georgiana’s world is safe and secure until the entry of two men in her life: her childhood friend Stephen Lockhart, and the mysterious Darrel Fredericks. At this eventful shift, the lives of her and her siblings are turned upside down. The style of the story follows very much in the tradition of classic story tellers such as Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens.
Director Kathryn Little has had a delightful time directing the piece, “Mahonri has created a delightfully diverse menagerie of characters to tell this story. We share with them their foibles as well as their strengths as we journey with them away from the safety of a lifestyle that leaves them spiritually and emotionally bereft, into a realm of real growth.”
“Georgiana is one the most in depth characters I’ve ever played ore read,” actress Jamie Denison said about playing the main role, “She is beautifully written. She comes off as very rough, intelligent and snippity, but inside she’s very delicate. She’s waiting for something or someone to melt away the frost off her heart, but in the end it’s harder than that.”
Playwright Stewart is thrilled to see the play produced again, “This play was a tremendous success at UVSC (now UVU), playing to sold out audiences and having a overwhelming response at the KC/ACTF Festival. However, due to my involvement with my other plays, this one hasn’t seen the light of day since then, so I’m simply ecstatic to see Kathryn direct such a fine production of it. It’s still my personal favorite from my work, in large part because I’m still very much taken the character of Georgiana. I know a father isn’t supposed to have favorites, but she is the apple of my eye from the children of my imagination.” This is Zion Theatre Company’s first production. The company, being created by Stewart and executive producer Jacob Figuiera, plans to produce not only more of Stewart’s work, but that of other local playwrights, as well as other more internationally recognizable plays. “The common denominator which we’ll base our play choices on will be the quality and morality of the work. Does the play strive to make human beings better socially, intellectually and spiritually?” Stewart said, “That can include a wide range of plays, whether from excellent, local playwrights like Eric Samuelsen or Melissa Leilani Larson, or from more well known work such as A Raisin in the Sun, A Man for All Seasons, The Chronicles of Narnia or The Seagull. Samuelsen or Shakespeare, we plan on producing work that resonates with humankind’s better nature.”