Black Box Theatre welcomes ‘The Mysteries: Creation’

Cheryl Nuzum

Starting Wednesday, November 11 Georgia Southern Theatre & Performance program will be doing a special production of some very classic stories with a very modern twist.

During medieval times, plays were once a teaching tool used by the church to educate illiterate people on representative Biblical stories, such as Creation or the Nativity. Over time, these plays left the church and became part of community entertainment, performed by craft guilds among medieval towns. “The Mysteries: Creation”is a modernized version of these productions, set to a song and dance beat, but still holds true to original integrity of the plays.

“One of the things about the original plays is that they’re like the perfect community theatre because different unions would put them on, or the guilds. So the shipwrights would do the Noah story, the butchers would do Abraham and Isaac. They kind of competed with each other to see who could put on the best production, but they were all everyday people,” said Lisa L. Abbott, director of the show.

The play itself centers on of group of blue-collar workers performing these plays during present day.  Similar to the originals, “The Mysteries: Creation” will also be composed of multiple stories, exploring the tales of Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the ark, Abraham and Isaac, and the Nativity.

Although the present day twist on the play might be enough to intrigue some audiences, that’s not all the show has to offer. The show is meant to be an interactive experience, with actors incorporating members of the audience into the show and inviting them onstage at various times throughout.

“I’m really excited to break that fourth wall because we pretty much just shatter it to pieces.” said sophomore theatre major Kathryn Burrell, who plays Mary in the production.

The show is also set to music, with a live rock band on stage to perform many songs audience members might already know by artists like Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses, as well as rock versions of classic Christmas carols.

“It really makes the entire thing. One thing people all wish, even if they don’t know it, is that their life had theme music,” senior Akil Jackson, who plays God in the production, said.

The music will provide a new element to the production, working closely with the actors on stage to ensure consistency.

“Not only is it really cool and entertaining for the audience, because it gets to tell the story in a whole new way, for us onstage, it’s also another tool that we don’t usually get to use,” Burrell said.

“The Mysteries: Creation” is a special show for the Theatre & Performance program. It’s unlike most other performances that have been put on so far at Georgia Southern. The program tries to keep a variety going when selecting productions, not only to keep the actors and designers on their toes, but also the university audience. The goal is to choose productions that range in periods and genres to ensure the university is exposed to multiple different kinds of theater.

“There’s stuff about the play that’s so delightfully fun and so unexpected. I think we’re so used to going in, sitting and being a passive audience and you’re not allowed to be in this one,” Abbott said.

“The Mysteries: Creation”runs from Wednesday, November 11to Wednesday, November 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Black Box Theatre. Although there will be no show Monday, November 16, an evening performance will be added at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 15. A matinee performance will also be showing that same Sunday at 2 p.m.

House will open at 7 p.m. and audiences are encouraged to arrive by 7:15 p.m.

Ticket prices are $6 for students and youth and $12 for faculty and community. Tickets can be purchased at the box office Monday – Friday between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., beginning at 6 p.m. on performance days, or through reservation request at (912) 478-5379.