Hammond students stage play using poetry and sign language

2014-03-26T00:00:00Z Hammond students stage play using poetry and sign languageTimes Staff nwitimes.com
March 26, 2014 12:00 am  • 

HAMMOND | “Mother Hicks” by Suzan Zeder is the latest main stage production for the Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts.

Opening night is 7 p.m. Thursday, in the HAPA Auditorium Theater at Morton High School, 6915 Grand Ave., and additional performances follow at 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays through April 6. Tickets are $7 for students and $9 for adults. Visit www.hammondapa.com or call (219) 989-7316, ext. 1889 to reserve tickets.

The production is directed by Dan Taube, with sets designed by Ann Davis and lights designed by Guy Rhodes.

The cast features HAPA students Jonisha Bowen, Jasmine Burris, Chelsea Byrne, Chevies Davis, Sydney Hale, Josh Innes, Julia Cook Jones, Dorion Jones, Justin Lara, Ashley Lear, Amanda Martinez, Nico Martinez, Samhara Mendoza, Aminah Nieves, Jessica Rivera, Yoko Robinson, David Rodriguez, Jonathan Romo, Josh Smith, Christian Torres, Giovanna Urbina, and Michelle Villa. The production is stage managed by student Kyle Kienzl, and the assistant director is  student Kyle Kienzl.

"Mother Hicks" is an evocative story using poetry, character and story to reach the audience. The setting includes various locations in and around Ware, Illinois, in the late spring of 1935 during the Great Depression.

It is the story of three outsiders — a foundling girl known only as Girl; a deaf boy, eloquent in the language of his silence; and an eccentric recluse, Mother Hicks, who is suspected of being a witch. The tale, told with poetry and sign language, chronicles the journeys of these three to find themselves, and each other, in a troubled time.

Zeder has been recognized nationally and internationally as one of the leading playwrights for young and family audiences in the U.S. A four-time winner of the Distinguished Play Award by the American Alliance of Theatre and Education, she has served as a panelist and site reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group.

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