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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Theatre program to bring final production of the academic year to the stage: Our Country’s Good
DATE: March 31, 2010

          The theatre program's final production of the year will be the Olivier and Tony award-winning play Our Country’s Good, by British playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker.

          Based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally, Our Country’s Good recounts the true story of the first transportation of British convicts to Australia in 1787. When this ‘first fleet,’ made up of 11 ships and some 1,500 people, made landfall in the largely unknown continent of ‘New South Wales,’ they found a hostile, foreign, and inhospitable landscape; a prison more secure than then any left behind in England. A year later, a group of convicts, led by a young marine lieutenant, would mount a production of the restoration comedy, The Recruiting Officer.

          Our Country’s Good is the story of that remarkable production and how the theatre would help to transform the prison that was New South Wales into the flourishing nation that is Australia. Wertenbaker’s celebrated play is at once a condemnation of the ignorance and cruelty of an earlier age and a celebration of the redemptive power of the theatre.

          Our Country’s Good is this year’s ‘Harlow’ production, featuring 11 fourth-year acting students in 22 different roles. With lighting design and stage management provided by our fourth-year stagecraft students, this is truly a graduate production. Costume and set design are courtesy of faculty members Carol Nelson and Renate Pohl, respectively, and directing the production is the chair of the theatre program, Todd Hennessey.
          Our Country’s Good plays nightly at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts theatre Wednesday to Saturday, April 7-10. Tickets are available at the college bookstore or at the box office on the evening of each performance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. For more information call 637-6223.

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