Campus Life

Disaster, chaos and discovery

Virus plagues city, thousands quarantined, food shortages expected  . . . When disaster strikes and chaos spreads, the lines of society may be redrawn, flipped upside down, or erased all together. Down From Heaven by Colleen Wagner explores the power struggles and relationships that either grow or break when the world changes for the worse.

The first production in this year’s TheatreXtra’s season, Down From Heaven plays Sept. 26-28 at 8 p.m. nightly, with a 2 p.m. matinée on Sept. 28 in the David Spinks Theatre. This deeply introspective drama is sure to provoke and entice audiences.

Down From Heaven plays Sept. 26-28 in the David Spinks Theatre.

Directed by third-year BFA Dramatic arts major Erinn Watson, this is a play she envisioned being a part of since reading it during her course work.

“There’s a moment in the script where two characters are talking to each other through a metal grate, and I could see it so clearly, I knew I wanted to direct it and so proposed it for TheatreXtra’s season,” says Watson.

Inspired by the SARS outbreak in 2003, Canadian playwright Colleen Wagner’s play revolves around a small fictional family, trapped in its basement due to an international virus outbreak.

Without access to information or food, beyond what their gardener-turned-secret policeman is willing to provide them, the family struggles to survive. The play has mature content.

“The events that occur in the play could happen tomorrow, next week or a year from now,” muses Watson. “Disaster will strike someday and this play strikes at what I think a lot of us fear greatly: having no control over our own situation, and being forced to rely on someone we are not sure we can trust.”

Tickets for TheatreXtra’s first production of the season are available at the University Box Office (open Monday to Friday 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., or by calling 403-329-2616).

Individual tickets are priced at $12 regular admission, $10 seniors/alumni and $8 students.