The annual Cornerstone play, produced by the Department of Theatre, highlights issues of grief in “The Dream of the Burning Boy.”
“This show is how we interpret and how we deal with grief,” said Christian Schnucker, who plays high school teacher Larry Morrow.
“It’s a play that brings connection to the seven characters and introduces seven different ways to deal with what has happened and dealing with grief essentially,” said Schnucker, senior theatre major from Leander.
The story focuses on characters in a high school and their reaction to a common loss in their life. After a tragic event happens, each character is faced with overcoming the grief they feel.
“The intention is to have our students put themselves in other people’s shoes,” said Dawne Meeks, department chair. “We hope students walk away with a better understand of someone else’s walk.”
Each year’s Cornerstone production is a community decision made by Theatre Department faculty. “I was drawn to the play because of the contemporary sensibility and something our students could relate to,” Meeks said. “I think of coming off this summer and so much pain in the world and there are time where we need hope.”
The play depicts seven different ways of handling grief, giving every student a chance to connect to the play’s central message with making references to Hamlet and Dante’s Inferno, according to Meeks.
“Everybody at some level has dealt with grief and this explores the different ways in how we react to it whether it be lashing out or turning inward on ourselves or pushing everybody away or taking what we can,” Schnucker said.
Students not taking Cornerstone are invited to purchase tickets for the show as well.
“I think it’s really easy to feel isolated in whatever you’re dealing with as humans and we feel that no one else gets it but in reality we all go through similar things,” said Gabby Walker, sophomore theatre major from Chicago, IL. “Especially in the show it’s when we can finally open up with each other that the vulnerable and healing moments occur.”
After performance, talk backs will take be held for a chance for the audience to learn more and ask questions.
“The Dream of the Burning Boy” opens Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. until Nov. 19 with nightly performances. Tickets can be purchased online at acu.edu/theatre or by calling the box office for $15.