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W&L Presents the World Premiere Stage Production of '1984'

 
Lexington, VA (Oct. 30, 2017) - The Department of Theater, Dance and Film Studies at Washington and Lee University presents the world premiere of Stephanie Sandberg’s stage adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984.” The show will run Nov. 9–11 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. in the Keller Theatre in the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Tickets are required.

Sandberg, assistant professor of theater at W&L, authored the adaptation and will direct the play. She describes “1984” as “dystopian exploration of the meaning of dictatorial politics and whether or not truth can exist in a system of control like that.”

Sandberg’s adaptation follows one character, Winston Smith, as he grapples with the unnerving grip Big Brother, the overpowering political party, has on Oceania. Big Brother rips at the threads of reality and crushes any resistance; even rebellious thoughts are forbidden. As the growing tyranny strips Winston of his thoughts and personality, he must make the ultimate sacrifice and choose between individuality and his life.

Sandberg draws parallels between Orwell’s world and our own society, and weaves together theater and technology, integrating a telescreen and a live surveillance camera into the production. The audience must cope with the excessive surveillance and come to terms with the constant surveillance that pervades their own lives through phones, computers and cameras.

Following the Nov. 10 performance, faculty from W&L’s Journalism and Mass Communications Department will lead a discussion with the audience. Panel members include Toni Locy, Kevin Finch and Mark Coddington.

"Orwell’s story of deception, widespread surveillance and manipulation of the truth reminds us of the fragility of the precious rights found in the First Amendment, and the importance of preserving the freedom of speech, the press, religion, association, and to petition government,” said Locy.

The box office is open Monday – Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and will be open two hours before the performance time. Tickets are available for purchase at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or by calling the box office at (540) 485-8000.
 
 
 

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