BIG RAPIDS - Imagine a world where people fear that their opinion cannot be expressed freely, where leaders are not held accountable for their deceptions, where perpetual war is waged against an unseen enemy - this is the world George Orwell created more than half a century ago.
The Los Angeles-based Actor's Gang will bring to life this world in a powerful new stage adaptation at 8 p.m. Oct. 2 in G. Mennen Williams Auditorium on the campus of Ferris State University.
Directed by the troupe's co-founder and artistic director, Academy Award-winning actor/director Tim Robbins, the Actor's Gang has garnered critical acclaim for its bold, original works for the stage and daring re-interpretations of the classics, including works by Shakespeare, Moliere, Aeschylus, Ibsen and Chekhov. The troupe has received accolades for its works over the years, including awards from L.A. Weekly and the NAACP, as well as Ovation awards.
In addition to the performance, several other activities are planned around the themes of "1984." An exhibit in the lobby will feature the work of Humanities faculty Jill Jepsen's Art 101 class as they explore the meaning of identity in a "bar coded driven society." The exhibit will also include examples of surveillance, "double think" and "newspeak."
In addition, a pre-show discussion will be led by Dr. Cami Sanderson, associate professor of Communication, and Dr. John Gray, assistant professor of Humanities at Ferris. The topic of the discussion will explore the relevance of Orwell's dystopia to modern American life. And finally, the Actor's Gang will hold a post-show talkback session with the audience to answer questions about the production and their view on Orwell's "1984."
This performance is part of the Live! at Williams Performing Arts Series, a program of the Humanities department and the College of Arts and Science at Ferris. The presentation is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the General Mills Foundation, Land O'Lakes Foundation, and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Live! at Williams corporate sponsor is The Yellow Book USA.
Tickets for this event are available at the Williams Auditorium Ticket Office, located at at 901 S. State St., online at www.ferris.edu/arts/tickets.htm or by calling (231) 591-5600. Student tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Adult tickets are $20 in advance, $24 at the door. All seats are reserved. People that need accommodations to attend this event may call (231) 591-3676 for assistance.