Albert Camus drama explores challenging topics in new translation; learning events part of the play
What is justified in bringing about political change? Are some lives worth more than others? In seeking change, is killing ever justified?
Those are some of the questions explored in The Just, the final play in the Kirkwood Community College 2008-09 theatre season. The production is set for Kirkwood’s Ballantyne Auditorium Friday through Sunday, April 3-5. Friday and Saturday evening performances are 7:30 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee.
The Kirkwood staging is a new translation of the 1940s play, Les Justes by famed French author Albert Camus. Director Rick D. Anderson says the Kirkwood production re-defines “new work” in several ways.
“We are exploring important topics and using a play that isn’t even officially published,” Anderson observed. “This translation was created by Tom Hoover and was only produced once, by a private theatre group in California in 2005. I discovered the work last year and worked with a Kirkwood colleague, David Bullwinkle. He shared an earlier translation and our ideas really started to flow. This production marks an incredible cooperative effort. We think the audience and our student performers alike will get a lot out of the material and the big questions the story asks of us all.”
The Just is set in pre-Soviet Russia and is based on actual events. In 1905 a group of early revolutionaries plot a killing of Grand Duke Sergei, a member of the Tsar’s royal family. The group of five plotters expound on their ideals of a new, free Russia. The rebels also honestly confront their fears and anxieties about committing violent acts in the name of higher causes.
The production has set design and stage direction by Doug Anderson with costume design by Annee Noah. A panel discussion on the play, its themes and message is planned for March 31 at Kirkwood’s Cedar Rapids Campus. The performers and directors will also host a “talk-back” session with audience members following the opening night performance on April 3.
Tickets for The Just are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students with current school ID. Kirkwood faculty, staff and students are admitted free. Tickets are available from the Kirkwood Student Life office in Iowa Hall, (319) 398-5578.