‘Elephant’s Graveyard’ Blends Historical Fact, Fiction

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CSM Theatre Brings George Brant’s Classic to the Stage

            The College of Southern Maryland Theatre program will perform “Elephant’s Graveyard,” a classic play delving into the issue of animal cruelty, at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20 and 27 and at 8 p.m., Feb. 21, 22, 28 and March 1 at the Fine Arts Center, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata.

            “Elephant’s Graveyard” is the tale of the tragic collision of a struggling circus and a desolate, small town in Tennessee. Set in September of 1916, the play combines historical fact and fiction, exploring the American craving for spectacle, violence, and revenge. Based on the real-life lynching of Mary, a circus elephant executed after killing her trainer, Brant’s work opens the audience’s eyes’ to animal cruelty and the perils of racism, recounting the experience with perspectives from both the circus performers and the citizens of the small town.

            “This is an amazing and powerful show,” said Associate Professor and Coordinator for Theatre and Dance Keith Hight. “We are fortunate to have these opportunities to cultivate and present theater that is as meaningful as it is entertaining. Our students don’t just deliver incredible performances; they educate and engage the audience.”

In fact, the CSM production engages the audience in a unique way by converting the look and feel of the Fine Arts Center into that of a three-ring circus. Audience members will feel fully-immersed in the play from the moment they enter the lobby until the moment they leave the facility. “This play has been an incredible experience for the entire production team,” said Hight. “It has pushed all of them to the next level in their craft. This is not a show to miss.”

The cast list includes Jeremy Hunter, of La Plata, as the ringmaster; Alex LaClair, of La Plata, as the trainer; Alexis Miller, of La Plata, as the ballet girl; Aimee Bonnet, of White Plains, as the tour manager; Cory Bragg, of Indian Head, as the strongman; Adam Brandao, of Waldorf, as the clown; Apryl Wilson, of Waldorf, as a hungry townsperson; Rusty Hrabe, of La Plata, as the marshal; Erin McQueen, of La Plata, Jamie Burroughs and Kate Sine of Waldorf, as muddy townspeople; Sean Smith, of Waldorf, as the preacher; Jacob Lejeune, of Mechanicsville, as the steam shovel operator; Hannah and Nicole Credno, of Waldorf, as young townspeople; Chris Lange, of Port Republic, as the engineer; Daniel Chaloux, of La Plata, as the guitarist; and Kyle Upchurch, of La Plata, as the drummer.

“Elephant’s Graveyard” is presented by CSM through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for military, seniors and youth. For information, contact the box office at 301-934-7828 or bxoffc@csmd.edu. For information about the arts at CSM, visit www.csmd.edu/arts.

 

Calendar Listing

CSM Theatre Company: Elephant’s Graveyard. 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20 and 27; 8 p.m., Feb. 21, 22; 8 p.m., Feb. 28-March 1, College of Southern Maryland, Fine Arts Center, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. “Elephant's Graveyard” is the true tale of the tragic collision of a struggling circus and a tiny town in Tennessee resulting in the only known lynching of an elephant. Set in September of 1916, the play combines historical fact and legend, exploring the deep-seated American craving for spectacle, violence and revenge. Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. $15 adults, $12 military/seniors/youth. For tickets, contact the box office at bxoffc@csmd.edu or call 301-934-7828.

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