|Theatre Arts presents "The Elephant Man"|
The Department of Theatre Arts will host an after-performance talk-back discussion of "The Elephant Man" Wednesday, Nov. 14. John Martsolf from Pediatrics will moderate the discussion, along with Jim Williams from Theatre Arts, and will include input from the cast and designers of the production. "The Elephant Man," by Bruce Pomerance, opens at the Burtness Theatre Tuesday, Nov. 13, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 17.
"The Elephant Man" is a dramatized look at the life of John (Joseph) Merrick, a horribly disfigured man who became a celebrity in the late 19th Century while under the care of his benefactor, Dr. Frederick Treves. The play recounts the years from when Merrick is exhibited in freak shows to Dr. Treves’ rescue and care for the “elephant man” to Merrick’s early death. The central issue of the play, however, is not so much about Merrick’s disfigurement as it is about Treves’ motives in taking care of Merrick. Although Dr. Treves is a compassionate man to an extent, he views Merrick as a specimen to be studied and transformed into what English society considered to be “normal.” As "The Elephant Man" exemplifies, Merrick demonstrates he is more “normal” than the society around him. -- Theatre Arts.