Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 8, 1996

Second Stage features two Blessing works

by Curt M. Pratt, News Service intern

Get ready for not one, but two theatrical productions by the ISU Theatre this month.

The Spring Repertory Second Stage productions presents "Two by Lee Blessing" -- Down the Road and Eleemosynary.

Down the Road is a morality play in the guise of a psychological drama, said Mark Sutch, director and ISU student. The play centers on a convicted serial killer and the husband-and-wife team hired to write an account of his crimes. Eventually, the couple questions whether they are showing the true nature of the killer or turning him into a celebrity.

"This play says a lot about how we in our culture view violence," said Sutch, a senior in speech communication. "This play shows something we have to recognize in our society -- a moral decline in our country."

Tim Davis, a junior in journalism and mass communication, plays Dan Henniman. Amanda Lloyd, a junior in speech communication, plays Iris Henniman. Playing the part of the serial killer is Dan Sairall, a junior in speech communication.

"This is a wide-reaching play," Sutch said. "It will be important to both students and adults because it will make them think about important issues that we face every day."

The second Blessing play, Eleemosynary, focuses on three women.

In the 1980s, Blessing realized he had not written any plays that were about women, said Shirley Basfield Dunlap, director and assistant professor of theater. "This is his first play that had strong female roles and was about women," she said.

Eleemosynary is about a grandmother, mother and daughter. The play examines their relationships, alienations, fears and loves.

"This play makes you look into yourself and decide that the dreams and goals of your life are yours alone," Dunlap said.

The play features Nia Johnson, a senior in art and design, as the grandmother, Dorothea. Femi Emiola, a graduate student in general graduate studies, plays Artemis, the mother. Shalini Amersey, a sophomore in business, plays the daughter, Echo.

Down the Road will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on March 21, 23, and 29, and at 2 p.m. March 31.

Eleemosynary will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on March 22, 28, and 30, and at 2 p.m. March 24. All performances are in Fisher Theater.

General admission is $7.75. Tickets are available at the Iowa State Center box office, through TicketMaster outlets or by calling 233-1888.

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