The Theater Honor Society will host “Lance’s Night of Shakespeare” on Sunday. The proceeds for this production will be directed to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
This play is produced in honor of Lance Bleakney, a theatre major who had graduated in May 2019. This student took his own life two weeks after his graduation. He was known as a bright, talented and lively young man. In addition, he had a love for Shakespeare, something he intended to carry forward after his graduation.
“He was a bright spirit,” chair of ACU theater program Dawne Swearingen-Meeks said.
ACU Faculty, students, and Alpha Psi Omega, the national theater honor society, collaborated over the summer to create the event in an attempt to comfort those hurting. Most importantly, the event was created to honor Bleakney’s life, story, and his name utilizing Shakespeare.
The initiative arose from a need to do something and not allow those affected to remain in sorrow and pain. This event is to console those who were affected by his passing and attempt to bring morale back up through something that he was involved in. In essence, this program is meant to honor Bleakney by channeling work that was part of him and his journey at ACU.
This program will include a number of acts, scenes, sonnets, and monologues members of APO are performing in a cabaret-style, such as “Hamlet”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and other performances either from or inspired by Shakespeare.
“Arts can be healing,” Swearingen-Meeks said.
“We definitely wanted to honor him by doing Shakespeare, but also toe the line between the usual and unusual,” Katherine Macune, president of Alpha Psi Omega, said.
The play will begin with challenging passages. The proceeds for the production will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The goal of the organization is to help educate all people from all backgrounds to understand the dangers and effects of depression and suicide and help those who are struggling with them.