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Tolerance the topic of DSU’s spring plays

March 28, 2017

Dakota State University’s Theater Company is continuing their 2016-2017 season of tolerance with two spring plays.

The repertory productions will draw attention to tolerance of religion with the play “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Tolerance of gender will be the focus of the medieval comedy “Silence,” by Moira Buffini. The fall musical, “Big River,” highlighted tolerance of race.

Presenting two plays at the same time requires some logistical creativity, so the company will be using repertory style, with the plays performed at differing times and locations. This means extra work for the casts and crews, but the messages the plays bring out is important enough to justify the work, said the actors involved.

Hannah May, who plays Ymma in “Silence,” said the lesson from that play is that “Holding to convention is not always the best way to do things.”

Being unconventional is a dilemma for Timothy Cramer’s character, Roger the priest, who is “trying to apply the steadfast rules of the fundamental Catholic Church to a world that’s shades of grey.” Other characters in the two-act play include a lord who’s a boy, a king who is “whiney,” May said. Her character is “a woman living in [the year] 1002 who is fiery enough to speak back to the king.”

This show, based on actual historic characters, uses the medieval English setting to show that there are situations “where nothing is that black and white,” said Dale Butler, who plays King Ethelred the Unready. Sometimes, “You have to deal with things on a person-to-person basis.”

The message is similar with the famous Anne Frank story. “Don’t judge people based on what you believe they are, but by who they are,” said Cole Peterson. “Don’t belittle people because of who they are,” is the message Rachel Bruntz sees in the story of the World War II-era Jewish family.

All these messages are pertinent for life today, said Director Kelly MacLeod. Because they are so applicable, discussion forums are planned after each play’s matinee performance this weekend. Because of the subject matter, “Silence” is intended for those age 16 and older.

“Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl” will be presented March 31st and April 1st at 7:30 p.m., and April 2 at 1 p.m., in the DSU Trojan Center Underground. Due to construction, the east entrance is closed, so those attending will need to use the doorway near the DSU arch on the southeast side of the building, or the entrance on the northwest corner of the building. Street parking is available.

Their medieval comedy “Silence” will be presented March 30th at 7:30 p.m., April 1st at 1:30 p.m., and April 2nd at 6:30 p.m., in the lower level of the Karl Mundt Library.

Tickets are $10 per show or $15 for both shows; for children under 12 who attend the Anne Frank show, tickets will be $6. DSU Students and veterans are free with IDs. Because of limited seating at the venues, anyone who wishes to attend is asked to call 605-256-5703 to reserve tickets. MacLeod asks callers leave their name, phone number, and how many tickets they would like.