Beginning tonight, members of Trinity Theatre will be performing “Our Country’s Good,” a play in which drama and love combine with history to produce a celebration of art.
“Our Country’s Good” tells the story of settlers from England who move to Australia in the 18th century. The settlers are either convicts or military members who are in charge of the convicts.
In the story, the convicts act in a play which is supposed to rehabilitate them and turn them from their lives of crime. Along the way, they find drama, love and self-realization, all of which come together to celebrate the impact of art.
The play is directed by Stacey Connelly, associate professor of human communication and theatre. Connelly has been working with the students involved in the play since the beginning of October.
“We have been rehearsing for six weeks, five or six days a week, usually four hours at a time,” Connelly said. “It is remarkable to me how the students can focus with such busy schedules.”
Students of all levels of experience are involved in the production. The cast consists of 14 men and five women. For senior Kate Cuellar, one of the women performers, “Our Country’s Good” is her seventh main stage production at Trinity.
“I play one convict who starts out with no friends and is violent. My character joins the play as a form of rehab and has to decide if her life is worth fighting for,” Cuellar said. “It’s a great story. Everyone has their moment, and everyone has to pull their own weight.”
Another convict is played by junior Jasmin Weber, who will perform in her first main stage play at Trinity.
“It has been really fun,” Weber said. “Being one of the girls is interesting; there has been great bonding within the groups of characters.”
While Weber is just beginning her experience in Trinity Theatre, senior Kyle Barbre is adding “Our Country’s Good” to a full repertoire of productions on the Trinity stage.
“I’ve been involved in Trinity Theatre since I came to Trinity. I’ve been in nine or ten full-scale productions here,” Barbre said. “I’m playing Second Lieutenant Ralph Clark, a Royal Marine. I get to push my acting abilities with 19 great cast mates, dedicated stage managers, a fun running crew and a really smart director.”
That director says that Trinity students can relate to and learn from “Our Country’s Good.”
“It’s about the power of art to change lives,” Connelly said. “At Trinity we emphasize a well-rounded education and the capability of contributing something positive to society. We believe theater changes lives.”
“Our Country’s Good” opens tonight at 8 p.m. The show will run Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 19-22. Performances will be at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. on Sunday; and 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.