By Anna Rhodes
The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance begins its spring season with the first mainstage performance of the calendar year, “Well” by Lisa Kron. Produced on the university’s campus in the Valborg Theatre, “Well” will be presented Feb. 21-25. Tickets are $10 for students and $17 for adults.
“Well” dives deeply into the realm of what it means to be healthy. By grappling with mental illness and relationships between mothers, daughters, friends and neighbors, the brings these issues to light. Based on autobiographical work, “Well” explores aspects of playwright Lisa Kron’s own life while creating an open and relatable story. Sue Williams, professor of theatre at Appalachian, is portraying the character Ann Kron in the show.
She commented that being “well” means many different things. The play explores wellness “not just physically, but emotionally, socially, and culturally, too,” she shared. “This play is extremely relevant to issues happening today and it presents those ideas in a touching and funny way.”
“’Well’ is about acceptance and understanding. Its lessons are universal and Kron does an excellent job of pushing the boundaries of the traditional play structure, ripping it apart layer by layer,” remarked Eileen Dixon, a junior performance major from Mocksville, who is playing Lisa in the show.
Labeled as a meta-play, Kron throws audience members into a play within a play within a play to show the many facets of the concept of being “well.” Show Director Anna Ward described the meta-theatrical aspects as being both clearly depicted and partially up to the audience’s interpretation.
“It’s about getting to the essence of the show and what’s been written more than anything else. It’s about doing the words justice and bringing the main elements of the play together.”
The Valborg Theatre is located on campus at the north side of Chapell Wilson Hall on Howard Street in Boone. The entrance faces the back of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on King Street. Parking is available after 5 p.m. on campus in faculty/staff lots and after 5:30 p.m. in the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons. Showing from Feb. 22, 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. with a Sunday matinee on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. For information on purchasing tickets call the Schaefer Center box office toll free at (800) 841-2787, locally at (828) 262-4046, visit the box office in person, or go online at theschaefercenter.org/tickets.
About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.