"Far Away" Opens April 16 on Wallman Hall Stage

Monday, April 06, 2015

In this age of information, the reality of current events is distilled through numerous filters – social media, cable news, print and more. Sometimes the twisting of details creates societal paranoia. “Far Away,a poetic play by Caryl Churchill follows the life of Joan, a young woman who witnesses atrocities and is determined to make a difference.  

The Fairmont State University Masquers Town & Gown production runs Thursday through Saturday, April 16, 17, 18, at 7:30 and Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (304) 367-4240.

Young Joan, played by 12-year old Sophia Flower, lives with her aunt and uncle. She questions her aunt, played by Linda O’Connor, about the unusual activities taking place in their backyard. Aunt Harper reveals to Joan that knowing the truth comes with great responsibility.   Years later, an older Joan, played by Shannon Yost, meets Todd her future husband, played by Gary Hayes, at her job assisting in the war effort. In this absurdist play, Joan comes to the realization that truth is often a harsh slap in the face."

Sophia Flower is the daughter of Lisa and Brandon Flower. She is in the seventh grade at Barrackville Elementary Middle School. She has been in several Fairmont State productions including “Tom Sawyer.” Linda O’Connor supervises the costume shop at Fairmont State. She has a degree in theatre from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is a regular on the Wallman Hall stage. Shannon Yost is a Theatre major from Fairmont. Her recent roles include Katrina in “Sleepy Hollow” and Beth in “Little Women.” Gary Hayes is a Theatre major from Hedgesville.  His recent roles include Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Huck Finn in “Tom Sawyer.”  

The production is directed by Susan Cato, Temporary Assistant Professor of Theatre.  Cato is an Equity actor and has an MFA in acting from Florida Atlantic University. 

“I am so excited to be directing this production of ‘Far Away,’ ”Cato said. “Churchill is a pioneer in socially conscious theatre. The show is short but powerful.”

The ensemble includes Stephen Phillips, Katie Groover, Bailey Kershner, Jacqueline Jelacic, Morgan Carder and Ariana Chapman.