COLUMBIA, S.C. – Trustus Theatre is continuing their Season 33 theme, Eyes Open, with their upcoming production of A Bright Room Called Day by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tony Kushner. At the beginning of 1932 in Germany, the political landscape has begun to shift as the Nazis win control of the parliament for the first time. How would the small, seemingly inconsequential, actions that followed change the world of Agnes Eggling and her friends? What came next was more unthinkable than they could have ever imagined. This show will open on Friday, January 19 and will run through Saturday, February 3, 2018. Tickets may be purchased at www.trustus.org, or by calling the Trustus Box Office at 803-254-9732.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America (the first show in Trustus history to sell out before it opened) comes this powerful portrayal of individual dissolution and resolution in the face of political catastrophe. Agnes Eggling and a bohemian group of friends gather in her cozy Berlin apartment to celebrate New Year’s Eve, 1932—the year the Nazis win parliamentary control and ultimately propel Hitler to power. At first, they can’t imagine anything will come of these political changes, but soon realize that the unthinkable is becoming the new normal. Interrupting this is Zillah Katz, a self-confessed paranoiac and left-wing crusader who scours the media daily from her tiny modern-day New York apartment, demanding that we examine our own political landscape. Tony Kushner’s epic, fantastical and witty play, A Bright Room Called Day, challenges us to face the world’s evils, both large and small, so we may stop the unthinkable from ever becoming normal again.
A Bright Room Called Day was written by Tony Kushner and will be directed by Erin Wilson. Wilson, who is the daughter of Trustus Theatre’s founding Artistic Director Jim Thigpen, says that he would have been on board with this play performing at the theatre. “He believed that theatre has a commitment to be a voice for change and illumination and conversation—to leave the audience at the end of the performance satisfied with the entertainment and still thinking about the ideas the next day. This play allows folks a glimpse into the lives and hearts of people that we think are so different than we are, but are actually way more similar than we ever imagined. I think he’d really dig this play and production.”
“I think that the most important message from this play is that no one can stand by and do nothing. If you see something, say something,” said Wilson. “I think that it’s true that the people who feel and see that something is happening that hurts or divides people, those that are too afraid to rock the boat, are as culpable as the ones who actively hurt and divide. I believe in radical and active empathy—and sometimes that requires us to be uncomfortable, maybe even scared, but what else are we put on this earth for except to love and care for each other? I think this play is a really clear example of the importance of that idea. History is a great teacher and I’m hoping that we finally allow ourselves to learn its lessons.”
Krista Forster (of Season 33’s Barbecue and A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall) will play the main character in A Bright Room Called Day, Agnes Eggling.
“The emotional journey of all of the characters in the play is so compelling and engrossing that I think any audience member, regardless of their political beliefs, will relate to and be touched by the humanity of their joys and struggles during the time period,” said Forster. “It is also a show that will generate lots of post-show conversation. I think it would be an excellent one to come see with a group of friends and have a lively discussion afterwards. Erin Wilson is an amazing director and this is one of the best group of actors I have ever worked with—this is definitely a show not to be missed!”
Stay after the shows on Friday, January 26 and on Friday, February 2 to enjoy an improv comedy show from the very same group that brought you the holiday comedy A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall: The Mothers. Tickets for the comedy show will be sold at the door for $10 ($5 for students) and are all general admission.
A Bright Room Called Day will run from Friday, January 19 through to Saturday, February 3, 2018 and tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Trustus Theatre Box Office at 803-254-9732 or online at trustus.org. Tickets are $25 for Wednesday and Sunday shows and $28 for Friday and Saturday shows. Student tickets are $20 each. Opening night is Friday, January 19, at 8pm. The performances following are on Saturday, January 20, at 8pm; Sunday, January 21, at 3pm; Thursday, January 25, at 7:30pm; Friday, January 26, at 8pm; Saturday, January 27, at 8pm; Sunday, January 28, at 3pm; Thursday, February 1, at 7:30pm; Friday, February 2, at 8pm; and Saturday, February 3, at 8pm. A Talk-Back with cast and panelists will follow the performance on January 28.