The Children’s Hour: Modernized at UF

By Abigail Metcalfe

The Theater Program at the University of Findlay will be ending this season with the classic 1934 drama, “The Children’s Hour,” by Lillian Hellman. This production, like its original, is set in the 1930s, but will be brought to us with a modern twist that is entirely unique to UF’s campus.

Performances will be April 15 – 18 at 7:30 p.m., as well as April 19 at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in the Powell-Grimm Theatre in the Egner Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets are on sale at the Alumni Memorial Union (419) 434-5335 and will also be available at the door. Prices: $5 general admission, $3 for students and senior citizens, free for UF faculty, staff and students.

“The Children’s Hour” is set at the Wright-Dobie School for Girls, which is ran by two longtime friends, Karen and Martha. The lives of the two young women are forever changed when a spiteful student, Mary, begins a rumor that Karen and Martha are having a lesbian affair with one another. Suddenly, children are removed from the school by their parents, and Karen and Martha find themselves helpless against the malignant rumor, which ultimately has devastating consequences.

Christopher Matsos, assistant professor of theater, will be directing the production and is excited for audiences to experience the new take on this classic play.

“We really tried not to let it be this stale, old play, but to really bring it into the 21st century in a way that is more relatable,” said Matsos.

In order to accomplish this, Matsos worked with grad-student Diane Susdorf. Diane is a student and teaching assistant in the Masters in Rhetoric and Writing program at UF and is acting as a dramaturge (research assistant) for this production.

“Dr. Matsos and I collaborated with the cast of ‘The Children’s Hour’ to create social media artifacts, like tweets, texts, and blog posts that will supplement the live performance of the play,” said Susdorf.

According to Matsos, a series of projections depicting social media pages relevant to the scene will be displayed behind the actors as the play is actually happening.

“We are basically trying to fold in a layer of cyber bullying to the play, to illustrate that these same issues can happen today,” said Matsos.

Several members of the cast decided to get in on the social media project and set up twitter accounts for their actual characters from “The Children’s Hour.”

Here are the cast and their Twitter handles:

Tabitha Kittle, a sophomore theater major, will be playing the role of Karen; Alaina Counts, a senior theater and English double major will play Martha, and Abbey Bubledare, a freshman theater major will play the role of Mary.

Other cast members include Allison Dilbone, Ben Frankart, Adrianna Quinones, Rachel Coberley, Rose Mansel-Playdell, Sarah Schroeder, Adrianna Powel, Emma Lamore, Kat Slate, Casey DiCioccio, Lindsey Skinner, and Jessica Herman.

Twitter Handles

Peggy Rogers @PeggyR15, Lois Fishers @loisfisher_14, Evelyn Munn @EvelynMunn14, Rosalie Wells @RosalieWells14, Catherine Hellman @CatherineH_17, Mary Tilford @marytilford15, Helen Burton @HelenBurton_16, Janet Van Dyne @JanetVanDyne15, and Leslie Parker @leslieparker_16.




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