Arthur Miller’s ‘Resurrection Blues’ to be presented at SOPAC

The setting is present day South America. The star? A modern day Jesus Christ.

Arthur Miller’s “Resurrec­tion Blues” is the Department of Communication and the Arts’ last production for the spring 2012 semester. The play is a sat­ire piece that tells the theoretical story of what would happen if the son of God were to appear in today’s society.

The play paints the picture of a power-hungry dictator, Felix Barriaux played by junior Phil Baker, about to crucify a man who has performed a series of miracles and is rumored to be the second coming of Christ. The dictator sells the rights for the crucifixion to be documented for an American reality television show just as his cousin, Henri Schultz, played by junior Que­mars Ahmed, tries to stop him.

“What it becomes is this de­bate about society,” said Ahmed. “Why, in the 21st century, would it even be possible that some­one would film a crucifixion? It sounds ghastly and absurd, but think of all the other stuff that’s on TV right now.”

Senior Megan Hanson, who plays Jeanine Shultz, a failed rebel who tried to commit sui­cide but was saved by the Christ figure, believes that the play has a sense of accuracy to its criti­cism.

“It really depicts how fallen our society is,” Hanson said. She said also sees her character as relatable to Mary Magdalene in the sense that she builds a tight relationship with the God-like savior.

Senior Jennifer Graham-Macht, who is the stage man­ager, sees “Resurrection Blues” as a personal reflection of the weight of faith.

“I see it as this everlasting question in my brain about what does it mean to have a religious figure and to believe in some­body,” Graham-Macht said. “What is the strength of believ­ing in somebody?”

With this play, Director Pro­fessor Deirdre Yates wanted to incorporate another dimension to help the audience leave with a different and exciting experi­ence.

“We tried to integrate a lot of multimedia to it that’s not called for in the script,” Yates said. “It’s just that to me [the play is] a lot about our media-saturated soci­ety.”

According to Yates, the multi­media in the play includes “live feed camera work, some video [and] some screens.” She also sees “Resurrection Blues” as “a great way for people to look at Arthur Miller in a different way than ‘Death of a Salesman,'” since her version of “Resurrec­tion Blues” is more “modern.”

“Resurrection Blues” runs April 26-28 at 8 p.m. and April 29 at 2 p.m. at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

In addition to the show on Friday, April 27, there will be a talk back session with Yates, Dr. Charles Carter and Professor An­thony DePalma about whether or not today’s society is prepared for the return of Jesus Christ.

Tiffany Do can be reached at tiffany.do@student.shu.edu

Author: Tiffany Do

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