The Caucasian Chalk Circle Will Enthrall Audiences

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There is a plethora of interesting words that can be used to describe SHSU Theatre Department’s production of “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” such as engaging, stimulating and riveting. The play written by Bertolt Brecht and directed by professor of theatre Dr. Victoria Lantz is an epic adventure from start to finish.

Essentially telling a story within a story within another story, ‘Chalk Circle’ has moments of heartfelt sweetness as well as many moments of hilarious comedy.

The story begins with a town of people suffering from the effects of a war, which has wreaked destruction and famine upon their land. A peasant woman finds the baby of a rich governor and ends up taking the baby in as her own, sacrificing everything in order to give him a good life.

The play follows the journey of this young woman and her son, but also introduces the audiences to many other colorful characters, including a band of animated musicians who illustrate the audience and move the story from tale to tale.

As an ensemble, the cast works like a machine, moving with incredible fluidity. The movements, facial expressions and dialogue are all exaggerated and drawn out which adds to the dream-like quality of the show and showcasing the individual talents of each actor.

Senior musical theatre major Monica Malone plays the lead character of the peasant woman Grusha. Malone gives a wonderful portrayal of the leading lady with nothing but selfless intentions keeping the audience rooting for her the entire time.

The scenes on stage are chaotic and constantly in motion, but with the use of stage dressing to illustrate new stories as well as the singer and her band, it is easy to follow along and become wrapped up in every moment.

The use of music onstage adds much to the aesthetic of the show and keeps everything moving at a good pace. The cast sings as well and as a chorus, their voices are lovely.

Dr. Lantz has blended a classic play with several modernized elements that makes the show more relatable and dynamic.

“The Caucasian Chalk Circle” is an exceptionally outstanding production sure to entertain as well as speak volumes on some important issues.

The show opens tonight at 8 in the University Theatre Center with additional performances scheduled for November 12 and 13 at 8 as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday November 13. To purchase tickets, call the UTC box office at 936-294-1339.