Furman Theatre collaborates with New York-based The Farm Theater to stage ‘John Proctor is the Villain’ April 9-14

Furman will stage "John Proctor is the Villain" April 9-13 at 8 p.m. in The Playhouse. Matinees are April 13 and 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $10-$18.

Furman University Theatre will present “John Proctor is the Villain,” a new play by Kimberly Belflower in collaboration with The Farm Theater (New York), Tuesday, April 9, through Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m., with 3 p.m. matinees on Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14. All performances take place in The Playhouse on campus.

The play is open to the public. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students.

Directed by Furman Theatre Professor Maegan McNerney Azar, the production is a result of a unique association between Furman and Brooklyn-based The Farm Theater’s College Collaboration Project, an initiative that connects emerging playwrights with colleges and universities to develop new, socially relevant plays.

“John Proctor is the Villain” began taking shape in spring 2018, with students contributing ideas before Belflower even began to write. Two of the three schools involved – in Florida and Kentucky – have already staged versions of the play. Furman’s April production will be the last before Belflower and The Farm Theater present the finished play in New York for possible production on a larger scale.

The story is set in a rural Georgia high school where a class is reading Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” Relationships shift, and secrets are exposed as students delve into a story set centuries before and ultimately see its connection to the contemporary #MeToo movement.

Constantly tweaking and refining the play throughout the year, Belflower has given Furman cast members a glimpse into how a play evolves from concept to production. Said Azar, “That kind of fluidity is a real challenge for student actors, but it is exactly how the new play experience works in the professional world, and Furman students are up to the task.”

The cast for “John Proctor is the Villain” includes:

Patrick Fretwell as Mr. Smith
Anne Morgan as Raelynn
Becca Hearn as Beth
Elizabeth Collins as Nell
Morgan Goldsberry as Ivy
Karsen Green and Cammi Stilwell (understudy) as Shelby
Derek Leonard and Dan Marino (understudy) as Mason
Matt Middleton and Aaron Prince (understudy) as Lee
Tess Kamody as Miss Gallagher

Ensemble members include Benjamin Connelly, Loni Covington, Emily Enlow, Annalise Harris, Clare Beth McConnell and Dasya’ Young.

For ticket information and reservations, call the Theatre Box Office at 864-294-2125. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 1, and may be ordered online at: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=futa. Online ordering charges apply.

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