The second event in The Schaefer Center Presents (SCP) virtual performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, features a streamed production of North Carolina Black Repertory Company’s dramatic play The Resurrection of Alice, about a young girl trapped in an arranged marriage in mid-20th century South Carolina, Thursday, Oct. 29 at 8pm. The award-winning, Winston-Salem, NC-based theatre company filmed the play on the stage of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts especially for the virtual series. The event is free of charge, but advance registration is required at TheSchaeferCenter.org.
Filming a play written and designed for the stage and adapting it for the screen, says Alexander, was “challenging yet exciting. The staging, lighting, performance — all of these things had to be adjusted to fit the medium. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. And we were definitely able to capture/find new moments in the show, while also capturing the essence of a ‘live theatre experience’ for our audiences.” Pivoting from stage to screen is also a necessity at a time when live events are not really feasible, a course that the company is navigating by “finding ways to engage audiences without sacrificing the quality of our work. Creativity fuels the artistic process, and 2020 is forcing artists of all disciplines to dig deep into their toolboxes.”
The Resurrection of Alice — written and performed by Perri Gaffney and directed by Jackie Alexander — is inspired by the countless forgotten lives of young black girls who found themselves in arranged marriages to men that were usually community pillars, financially comfortable and old enough to be their grandfathers. This type of arrangement, prevalent throughout many countries and cultures, was once a fairly common practice amongst African Americans through the mid-1900s.
In rural 1948 South Carolina, 15-year-old Alice looks forward to graduating from high school (a family first) and attending college on the scholarship she has earned. But her plans are devastated when she learns that she must honor her parents’ secret marriage arrangements for her to Luthern Tucker, the lonely, old family benefactor who had been eyeing her since she was seven years old. Alice’s next 20 years of overcoming trials are a tribute to the power of nurturing and healing that can cause a broken spirit to be reborn.
Because the tradition of arranged nuptials continues, The Resurrection of Alice has a contemporary, universal social appeal to anyone seeking to understand how and why this tradition remains as well as some possible emotional, psychological, and physical tolls that may plague both the betrothed and their families, if the union is not a happy one. The play is recommended for ages 12 and older.
“The issue addressed in the play is still prevalent in societies across the globe today,” says Alexander, underscoring the relevance of this period play in the 21st century. “Shining a light on any problem is the first step to confronting it.” Plus, he adds, audiences will witness “the power and resilience of the human spirit. They will also get a Master Class in acting (courtesy of Gaffney) — lol.”
In mid-September, Alexander and Gaffney conducted masterclasses for Appalachian State University theatre students, focusing on the audition process and playwriting.
The Schaefer Center Presents – FREE Fall 2020 Virtual Season
Thanks to a group of generous sponsors, all events are FREE, but advance registration is required at theschaefercenter.org. Registrants will receive a confirmation email, a day-before reminder, and a private link to access the event one hour prior to the performance. All SCP events are one-time only exclusive showings. Anyone who wishes to make a donation in any amount to support the series and its mission may do so on the website. The spring series will be announced soon, with plans to continue the virtual format throughout the spring semester.
For more information on the SCP 2020-21 season and to register for events, visit http://theschaefercenter.org/ or call 828-262-4046.
Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020
The popular bluegrass musical collective featuring siblings Sara and Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek fame) bring us a virtual performance exclusively for SCP in celebration of the duo’s latest album, brother sister!
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020
Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage, and set to a rich orchestral score by Philip Glass, award-winning director Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) tells the story of JANE, a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists. Rated: PG
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020
Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Sustainability, (APPS) Appalachian Popular Programming Society, and the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs
This public presentation is a rebroadcast of a live interactive Zoom webinar with Dr. Goodall and Appalachian State University students that takes place Nov. 18.
Friday, Dec. 4, 2020
Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music’s annual concert and fundraiser to support scholarships for HSOM music students, goes digital. This retrospective of family-friendly music features a variety of holiday and seasonal tunes performed by a variety of HSOM ensembles.