BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s student theater production next week, “Concord Floral,” is about darkness, not flowers.
The show will take place Nov. 10-13 in the Studio Theater of Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall on campus.
“This play is scary and deeply sad and profoundly hopeful,” said Dr. Kevin Ewert, director and professor of theater. “A group of teens walks out onstage and talks to us. About their dreams and nightmares, about their mistakes – one big mistake they all share – and about their choices moving forward.
“What starts out as a terrifying ghost story changes into something else, something very personal and acutely felt, about adolescence, and about the reality of cruelty and the possibility of kindness.”
The production is a suburban thriller in which 10 teenagers flee a plague of their own making. Concord Floral is a one-million-square-foot abandoned greenhouse and a refuge for neighborhood kids, but hidden there is the secret that no one wants to confront.
Ewert said he looked into the play after reading “the best book about theater I’ve read in the last 20 years, ‘Theatre of the Unimpressed,’” by the playwright, Jordan Tannahill.
Ewert said that Tannahill originally devised the play over the course of three years with a group of teen actors.
“‘Concord Floral’ is direct and frank and surprising. One moment, we’re in this kind of very detailed realistic scene, and then suddenly a fox starts talking to us about her viewpoint on the action,” Ewert said. “It somehow manages to feel both startlingly topical and also like some fable of youth. I think it really resonates with our student cast.”
The ensemble cast is Sirus Desnoes, a physical sciences major from Ithaca, N.Y.; Ethan Strother, a computer information systems and technology major from Hughesville; Jay Dudgeon, an early level education major from Valencia; Randy Mong, a radiological science student from Russell; Abby McCullough, a pre-law student from Aliquippa; Taylor Beebe, an early level education major from Westfield; Anna Killingbeck, a forensic science major from Chaffee, N.Y.; Eliver Russo, a biology major from Easton; Ailaina Saltsman, a criminal justice major from Port Allegany; and Talia Magno, a psychology major from New Galilee.
Reanna Carrier, a psychology major from Cuba, N.Y., worked on costumes. Jason Li, a computer information systems and technology major from Chengdu, China, and Garner McMaster, a business management major from Brookville, were the stagecraft team.
“Concord Floral” will play at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10, 11 and 12 and 2 p.m. Nov. 13. Tickets are $6 for the public and $2 for students. For tickets, call 814-362-5113, visit www.upb.pitt.edu/TheArts or visit the Bromeley Family Theater Box Office in Blaisdell Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. This production has adult content and language and is not recommended for young children.