The Paris Junior College Drama Department is getting ready to kick off this year’s theater season with showings of The Giver beginning Thursday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 9. and stars Saveuyon Brown as The Giver and Caleb Curtis as Jonas.
The Giver is based on the Newbery Award-winning novel of the same name by Lois Lowry.
“(The play) is a very close translation of the book,” said director Robyn Huizinga, who is PJC’s Technical Director and Instructor of Speech and Drama.
The Giver is set in something like a dystopian future, Huizinga said, where everyone has given up choice.
“They’ve given up every little thing- like color. There’s no more sunlight. Everything is artificially climate controlled. They live in this very controlled, orderly society and everyone has a place,” she said.
At the age of 12, children are assigned a job that they’ll perform for nearly the rest of their lives.
The story follows a protagonist named Jonas, who is assigned to be, ‘The Receiver of Memory.’ He goes to meet ‘The Giver’ who gives him all of the memories of the entire world.
“They’re the only two people in the world that understand anything beyond The Community itself,” Huizinga said, explaining the disconnect between the world now and the world before.
While Jonas and the Giver are the only two who understand the pleasantries of holidays, family, and love, they’re also the only ones who know of the terror of warfare, hunger, and poverty that plagued the world in the past, Huizinga said.
“No one else in The Community had experienced anything tragic like that,” Saveuyon Brown said, “because it’s a community of ‘Sameness’– a utopia where people don’t feel anything.”
Jonas struggles with the gravity of the new emotions bestowed upon him in this drab, emotionless world, and is left with questions about the nature of society’s existence. He takes the audience with him through these woes as he must make a choice in a world without choices.
Huizinga said they’re hearing positive things from the students who saw The Giver earlier this week, with one who said she enjoyed how closely the play follows the story of the book.
The Giver is required reading for many elementary and middle school students, but Brown said that it’s a play for the whole family.
“Anyone who is a fan of the book– or the movie– can (come) see the actual production brought to life in front of them,” Brown said.
- The Giver: Saveuyon Brown
- Jonas: Caleb Curtis
- Father: Adrian Hobbs
- Mother: Crystal Lanece Finney
- Lily: Brenna Mills
- Asher: Carlton Bell
- Fiona: Eden Godwin
- Chief Elder: Sarah Stogner-Dickinson
- Rosemary: Amber Nelms
- Announcer: Eric Shelton
- Voice: Donna Massoud
- Ensemble: Kaleya Davis, Gary Dodd, Danbri Erwin, Diana Godsell, James Greer, and Kala Vickers
- Stage Manager: Heather Collins
- Assistant Stage Manager: Kierra Miller
- Light Design/ME: Cameron Beshirs
- Light Board Operator: Antavius Draghn
- Sound Board Operator: Alex Greer
- Spot Light Operator: Ethan Brown
- House Manager: Raven Maxwell
- House Crew: Ashley Palmer and Mieshea Green; Running Crew: Michael Gunter, Cameron Beshirs, Danbri Erwin, Diana Godsell, Kaleya Davis, James Greer, Gary Dodd, Kala Vickers, Sarah Stogner-Dickinson, Donna Massoud, and Eric Shelton
- Makeup Design: Sarah Stogner-Dickinson
- Makeup Crew: Danbri Erwin
- Costume Design: Paula Vaughan
- Costume Construction: Celia Stogner, Kaye Weist, and William Walker
- Set Design: Robyn Huizinga
- Set Construction by the Stagecraft I Class, Theater Practicum Class, and members of Delta Psi Omega
If you go
- Admission is $15 for the public and free for students, faculty, and staff with a current PJC ID.
- The show starts at 7:30 p.m each night Thursday through Saturday with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
- It will be at the Ray E. Kerrar Theater, which is just inside the main entrance at PJC. (2400 Clarksville Street)
- Tickets will be available at the door
- To reserve tickets in advance– or for additional information– email email@example.com