Arts & Humanities

American Drama "The Babylon Line" Takes Stage at the Black Box Theatre

The Babylon Line by American playwright Richard Greenberg runs at 7:30 p.m. September 25-29 in the Black Box Theatre at the Chase Fine Arts Center on Utah State University’s campus. There is an additional matinee September 29 at 2 p.m. 

An eclectic group of adult students attend the class of Aaron, a 38-year-old writer from Greenwich Village, who is painfully aware that his failed career forced him to take a teaching job. Over the semester, the pupils become increasingly honest in their writing and cracks appear in their small-town community. Troubled student, Joan, strikes up a friendship with Aaron that may turn into something more. See the students’ lives unfold with triumphs and tragedy that can be traced back to their time spent in Aaron’s class in 1967. 

Greenberg is known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. He has had more than 25 plays premiere on and off-Broadway in New York City. 

“The play has what looks like a lot of poetry and highly structured language in the script,” Michael Shipley, director of the show and assistant professor of acting in the Caine College of the Arts, said. “It’s really interesting when the playwright uses the shape of the language and the punctuation as clues as to what is going on in the play.”

Shipley says studying the language includes the silence that comes from a written ellipsis.

“When you start to see the ellipsis as a space to be creative, it becomes fun for students to mold these silences into meaningful moments,” Shipley said. 

In The Babylon Line, you will hear about how Aaron impacted the lives of the students well beyond their time in the classroom. 

“You meet someone and it’s a small interaction, but there’s a whole life behind that interaction,” Shipley said. “You get a taste of that in this play. In a way, I see the fact that Aaron impacted all these lives as being a success whether or not he actually feels this way.” 

The Babylon Line cast includes Tyler Campbell (Aaron Port); Madeline Liddell (Joan Dellamond); James Johnson (Marc Adams); Madison Archibald (Frieda Cohen); Rebecca Swan (Anna Cantor); Eliza Schoell (Midge Braverman) and Alex Smith (Jack Hassenflug). 

Tickets for The Babylon Line are $13 adults, $10 seniors/youth, $8 USU faculty/staff and free for USU students with ID. For more information or tickets, contact the CCA Box Office in room L101 of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s campus, call 435-797-8022, or go online to cca.usu.edu.

Writer and contact: Whitney Schulte, whitney.schulte@usu.edu, 435-797-9203
 

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