Who knows what’s best for a baby; parents, religion, or the system? UTC Theatre Co. explores this question, along with many others, in their production of Luna Gale.
Cast: Sarah Kay, Mary Ripley, Mark Elich, Crissy Varnell, LeighAna Sharkey, Nick Sterling, Octavius Lanier
Technical Direction: John R. Burgess
Scene Designer: Garrett Henson
Lighting Designer: John R Burgess
Costume Designer: Emily Greene
Stage Manager: Sami Burns
UTC Theatre Co. kicks off the spring semester of the 2016 – 2017 season with Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale, an edgy, compelling play that tells the story of Caroline, a hard-pressed social worker in Iowa, who is given the task of supervising a case in which a six-month-old baby has been hospitalized. The parents, Karlie and Peter, are teenage meth addicts who are struggling to raise their child, whose name gives the play its title. It seems apparent that the care of Luna Gale should be given to Karlie’s mother, Cindy, an Evangelical Christian, who is eager to love and provide for her grandchild. Doubts begin to arise when Cindy requests permanent adoption against the wishes of Peter and Karlie. Caroline is forced to navigate this moral conundrum. Is it better for the child to be reared by a zealous grandmother or to be reunited with her rehabilitated parents?
Director Gaye Jeffers says, “Luna Gale is a play that explores the journeys of seven characters in 2016 Iowa. I keep going back to the idea of brokenness and how beautifully Rebecca Gilman questions how we view each other. In some ways Luna Gale is a modern morality play, but the lines between good and evil have been erased. The answer is not as simple as the question.”
Commenting further on Rebecca Gilman’s purpose for Luna Gale, and its many significant themes, director Gaye Jeffers says, “The play explores drug addiction, the foster care system, child abuse, and the role of faith in our country. Everyone in the play is struggling to do what they think is best for six-month old Luna Gale. Rebecca Gilman reminds us that the road to change often involves releasing the truth – even if it’s ugly, violent, regretful, and hard to see.”
UTC Theatre Company presents Luna Gale in the Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre, located in the UTC Fine Arts Center. The play will run February 21-25 at 7:30 p.m. with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday February 25th. Tickets can be purchased at the Fine Arts Center box office by phone at (423) 425-4269, in person, or online. Tickets are $12 General Admission and $10 for students (with proof of student ID) and seniors. Audience members should be aware that the play contains adult language and content.