Tabor College Theatre is busy preparing two plays during the busy spring semester. The first play, “Mark Twain’s The Dairies of Adam and Eve,” will take the stage nightly, March 10-12 in the Black Box Theatre within the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts.
Lauren Carlton, director of Theatre at Tabor, will direct the “Mark Twain” show. The second play, William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” will be directed by Austin Harleson, assistant professor of Theatre, with nightly shows May 7-9.
Carlton is confident that both productions will be ready on schedule. “This particular semester, we set things up so it wouldn’t be overwhelming.”
“The reason ’Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Adam and Eve,’ has a terribly long title is because it wasn’t actually a play. I adapted a series of essays that were published in Harper’s Bazaar back in the early days of the 20th century.”
Carlton added, “I always tell people that Mark Twain’s Adam and Eve is less like the biblical Adam and Eve than it is about Twain’s own experiences — and his perceived differences of the sexes.”
The play itself has two parts. “The first part plays in the Garden of Eden; we meet Eve, who is very loquacious and precocious,” Carlton said. “She is fascinated by the world she lives in and wants to know why everything works the way it does. She’s really not satisfied with the response ‘just because.’ So we see her constantly trying to figure out her world, and subsequently trying to figure out Adam.
“It’s a very funny play, considering it’s by America’s great humorist,” Carlton said. ”His style of language is very pleasant throughout the piece. It’s a very intimate story.”
The cast has four student actors: Nathan Kemling (sophomore) as Adam, and Madie Hill (senior) as Eve. Their understudies are freshmen Zack Wyse and Betsy George. And there’s a wolf in the play, with a guest appearance by an adoptable dog courtesy of Caring Hands Humane Society in Newton.
“The wolf will be played by one of their adoptable dogs,” Carlton said. “This part about partnership originated from Tabor’s societal challenge initiative this year. We’re encouraging audience members to come with puppy food, or kitten food. IIf you come with a bag of either of these things we’ll give you a free ticket for ‘Twelfth Night,’” the final production in the 2019-2020 season.”
Carlton is hoping to see audience interaction during the play.
“If you sit in the front, you may be pulled up on stage,” she said. “It’s a lot of interaction, because it’s about Adam and Eve in the Garden with the animals. We’ll ask members of the audience to pick the roles of the animals.”
Carlton said rehearsals have been pretty smooth as far as getting the show up and running.
“It’s great to have a small cast because you can really dive into the text with a greater level of detail,” Carlton said. “It’s a deceptively challenging piece in that it is very comedic and really funny. It does grapple with big topics, like marriage and family relations and general stereotypes.”
Tickets for general audience members is $8; non-Tabor students are $5, and Tabor staff, personnel and students are able to get free tickets if they log in or show their student ID at the box office.
For tickets visit tabor.edu/tickets