The Department of Theatre will present “The White Rose” this fall, its second performance of the year.
Unlike other yearly productions, theatre will present “The White Rose” to all freshman as a part of the Cornerstone curriculum. The non-fiction play, written by Lillian Groag, represents bravery in its most vulnerable state, making it incredibly applicable to the goal of the Cornerstone class. The play will be directed by Adam Hester, professor of the theatre.
“Trying to choose plays in that slot that will be particularly good for those cornerstone people, I think, is one of the key things that we’re trying to do,” Hester said.
“The White Rose” will be open for the public audience beginning Monday, illustrating the true story of the lives of several young college students in Germany who resisted the strength of the Nazi party in the midst of World War II.
“The play is inspiring not only because it is a true story, but also because Sophie Scholl [one of the main characters] demonstrates what it means to have the moral courage to speak truth to power,” Hester said.
Rehearsals for members of the play sometimes add up to 20 hours each week. The play holds a great amount of importance in consideration of who it is being presented to: the youngest students. Because of this, Marissa Trujillo, senior theatre major from Forney and set designer for the play, said the cast and crew was extremely diligent and conscious in their anticipation for the opening day.
“This is a story that I feel like especially students need to hear,” Trujillo said. “So one thing that is present in the play is the underscoring of how all the students and their faith was super important and that is why they had the courage to do what they did. Through faith and through knowing what truth is, it pushed them towards that.”
The set of the play shows the unorthodox style that designers like Trujillo built. The play will be presented on a large disk called a revolve. Hester said this is to accommodate the fast pace and quickly shifting nature of the piece, but it also aims to provoke thought among the audience throughout the story.
“I did want to highlight the idea of the truth being around us at all times… I liked the idea of having them step into one side and be in the side of light where they’re trying to make change and then you step into another side and it’s this completely opposite thing that they’re trying to fight,” Trujillo said.
Because the piece will be presented to these Cornerstone students, Hester said he strongly considered Groag’s intention for viewers of the play.
“The play is really inspiring,” Hester said. “Most of the students are believers which is something that I think will resonate with our students. Their own sense of moral responsibility and their sense of ethical choices that they feel they have to make is something that’s really inspiring.”
More information can be found at acu.edu/theatre.