COD’s Latest Show Came to Life on Oct. 7

COD’s Theater’s “The Living” runs through October 24


provided by COD theatre

Bee Bishop, Staff Writer

College of DuPage Theater is putting on a showing of “The Living,” a play about London during the bubonic plague in the 1660s and the struggles of finding a community during a time of crisis. The show is an engaging evening for viewers with a dynamic and passionate cast and impressive visuals. 

“The Living” was written by Anthony Clarvoe in 1991 and follows a group of Londoners as they try to navigate through a deadly plague sweeping through the city. Though the circumstances are similar to that of the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve endured for the past year and a half, director Connie Canaday Howard said the play was picked for more than its relevance to today’s events. In her director’s note, she said, “To me, (the show) poignantly dramatizes the need, and growth, of community in the midst of much

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desperation, pain and fear.”

The play follows the relatively small cast of characters as they struggle to keep their community intact as it is ravaged by the bubonic plague. Among this cast is the mayor, a doctor, a shopkeeper’s wife, a reverend and a scientist who is the narrator throughout the play. With this combination of upper and lower class characters, the audience sees the struggle of leaders to direct the community, both in selfish and selfless ways, and the struggle of the common people who lose faith and are dying rapidly. 

While the topic is rather glum and depressing, there are moments where the audience will find themselves chuckling at the dry wit in the dialogue. Combined with a spirited and polished cast and a charming and thoughtful set design, the production is overall a pleasant experience for viewers. 


provided by COD theatre

Everyone from cast to crew to director mentioned how they drew from their experience from the pandemic to put into this play, everything from set design to the performance of the actors. And for many members of the crew, this is one of the biggest selling points of the play. Actor Elmeka Elma talked about her admiration for the script.


“It’s so well written,” she said in a personal interview. “I feel like people would be able to relate in some way. From the first scene to the end.” 

Actor Olivia Reamer agreed.

“You should come see the show because it’s cathartic,” she said. “It’s the emotions and experiences that we’ve all been having for this past year and a half, but in a different time period.”

“The Living” is being shown in COD’s studio theater, the school’s blackbox theater. Blackbox theater is a special stage where the audience surrounds the stage on three sides, meaning when the actor is on stage, they must be hyper aware of their action because the audience is so close. 

“It’s a stage unlike any stage I’ve ever seen,” actor Vaughan Beyer said in an interview.

The show runs fairly fast, coming in at about two hours, but audience members are sure to be captivated with the members of the ensemble maintaining the urgency of each scene. 

The show also incorporates an auditory factor to fully immerse the audience into the show.

provided by COD theatre

Actor Luke Hernandez commented about his admiration for the sound design.

“If you listen closely to the sound or what the characters are saying or their reactions, you’ll be able to see what we’re going for,” he said. “There’s a lot of really cool little things like that.”

The play opened on Oct. 7 and will run through Oct. 24. Because of limited seating, people looking to attend are encouraged to buy their tickets ahead of time. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Masks are required in the theater. For more information, go to