Those in or around Edmonton might be interested in the Department of Drama’s production of The Elephant Man for its depiction of perceptions of disability and deformity; all performances at the Timms Centre as part of the Studio Theatre season. Details below the fold.
Directed by MFA Directing candidate Michael Peng
May 15-May 24, 2008 at 7:30pm
$5 preview Wednesday, May 14
Matinee Thursday, May 22 at 12:30pm
No show Sunday, May 18
Written in 1977, Bernard Pomerance’s Tony award winning play The Elephant Man is the story of John (Joseph) Merrick, a severely deformed man and the young doctor Fredrick Treves who rescues him from a degrading Victorian era circus freak show. Treated and housed in a London hospital, Merrick is elevated to the prize of elite society where he becomes the object of pity and fascination.
While Merrick ascends to enlightenment through education, culture and human relationship, his body eventually succumbs to the tragic breakdown of his disease. Those responsible for his rehabilitation are left to ponder the aims of science and the nature of human compassion.
The Elephant Man is a beautiful and poignant story of belonging – a superb fit for MFA Directing candidate Michael Peng, a humanist director drawn to theatre about the vitality of the human spirit.
The play is notable for its use of strong theatrical conceit; no prosthetic make-up is used on the actor portraying Merrick. His ‘normal’ features are soon replaced by the deformities imagined by audiences.