Drama students prepare for play in renovated Lampton

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Students from the Mississippi School of the Arts are hard atwork on their next production, “Machinal” by Sophie Treadwell,which will be shown at MSA Wednesday through Sunday.

Drama instructor Dr. Robert Brooks said the production is anAmerican tragedy about the first woman to ever be executed in NewYork State.

“This is an expressionistic play from the 1920s about a realmurder trial,” he said. “The reporter who covered the trial wrotethis play, and she thought a real injustice was done.”

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Brooks said the play is a dark one, with some adult themes atissue. While it isn’t inappropriate for children, Brooks said it’sdefinitely more appropriate for an older audience.

“Children would probably be bored by it because it deals withadult topics,” he said.

The play revolves around the life of Helen Jones, who marries akind man because she feels it’s her duty to society to marry andstart a family. It follows her mental trail as she tries toreconcile the feelings she has toward what is in essence giving herlife away.

“It’s telling a story very close to the real murder trial, andthere are abstract moments where we get to see things from thewoman’s perspective, like there are times she hears voices,” Brookssaid. “It’s dark, and it’s a tragedy, and it’s a little strange inplaces, but overall it tells a good story.”

The performance is the first one to take place in the LamptonAuditorium at MSA since it was closed for renovation early thisyear. Upgrades for handicapped accessibility have been made, andthe historic performance hall is open for business once again.

The play takes place on Oct. 28-30 at 7 p.m., and on Oct. 31 andNov. 1 at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students.Tickets may be reserved by calling 601-823-1317.