Earth and Sky shows new side of college theater

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

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Sara has developed an obsession. Her fairly new boyfriend has been found dead, and she believes she can piece together the clues well enough to find the truth. With help from the MAC audience, she can. Student theater production “Earth and Sky” is taking the MAC Studio stage to make audience members feel as if they are living the story alongside the characters. In this interactive psychological thriller, audience members are encouraged to become involved with the characters as they solve a possible murder mystery.

Set in 1989, the storyline follows poet and librarian Sara throughout Chicago as she tries to uncover the truth behind her boyfriend’s death.

Director Carl Lindberg explained the interactive aspect of the show as promenade staging. This type of production allows viewers to move around instead of sit in one place for the run of the show.

“The show isn’t interactive in the sense where the audience chooses their adventure, but they get to follow along with Sara as she pieces together the mystery of the death of her lover,” Lindberg said. “The show is written in a way to get the audience more involved with Sara.”

Throughout the 95-minute performance, audience members are encouraged to move around and seat themselves wherever they have full sight of the stage; even in the middle of the action. Many viewers may find themselves intertwined with the story and moving along with the scenes.

To Lindberg’s knowledge, this is the first time College of DuPage has hosted a promenade style production. He hopes audience members will feel involved throughout the viewing. “I hope audience members get caught up in the mystery,” Lindberg said. “Hopefully they will have a great time and enjoy a new type of theater.”

In preparation for the show, Lindberg sent a study guide surrounding the performance to college staff and faculty members. The guide stressed the importance of being active in the show and not sticking to one seat. After a weekend of shows, Lindberg has seen the effects first hand.

“The first two shows, there were a few people who didn’t move much. There are some permanent seats and if you would like to sit and observe that’s fine,” said Lindberg. “I think the people having the best time are the ones who sit in the middle of it all.”

The staging itself is a reason to see the show. “Earth and Sky” is bringing a fresh theater outlook to the MAC stage. Attendees should purchase tickets in advance as upcoming performances are selling out. The show will take place Oct. 9 until Oct. 26. The Oct. 17 show will be complete with a post-show discussion with the production team. To book tickets, visit www.atthemac.org, or call the MAC box office at (630) 942-4000.

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