Burning Coal's JUDE THE OBSCURE Closes on Saturday
Burning Coal's Jude the Obscure, Parts 1 & 2 by Ian Finley, Jon Fitts and Bruce Benedict has entered its final week. Remaining performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday afternoon at 2 pm. Part 1 runs Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. Part 2 runs Friday and Saturday evening.
Considered by many to be Thomas Hardy’s greatest novel, Jude was met with a profoundly negative public outcry upon its publication in 1895. It was reportedly burned by the Bishop of Wakefield, and was commonly referred to as Jude the Obscene because of its frank depiction of sexual concerns and its negative attitude toward the institution of marriage. Hardy was so dismayed by the critical and public reception that he never wrote another novel (though an earlier novel did get published after Jude).
The novel’s primary concern is to question the value of institutions in our lives. It was written at a time when the industrial revolution was building up momentum, when rural people’s lives were being changed inexorably, and one way of life was being replaced by another, more unrecognizable way of life. The shift was from rural to urban. The principles upon which families, villages and whole societies had been founded were crumbling and a new set of principles was perhaps hastily being put up as a replacement for those age-old principles. Amidst this scenario, Hardy envisioned a young man, “Jude”, who was convinced that he could do anything he wanted to do if he worked hard enough, including scaling the walls of the most formidable institutions. Along the way, he falls in love with his cousin, Sue Bridehead and together they try to make a life for themselves against seemingly insurmountable odds.
Jude Fawley will be played by Raleigh’s Stephen LeTrent (Lipstick Traces, Twelfth Night). Arabella Donn will be played by Liz Beckham (To Kill A Mockingbird, Tartuffe) of Austin, TX. Sue Bridehead will be played by NYC-based actor Alice Rothman-Hicks, a recent Columbia University graduate, who makes her Burning Coal debut with this production. The role of Richard Phillotson will be played by Elon’s Kirby Wahl (The Prisoner’s Dilemma). The cast also includes Samantha Rahn, John Allore, Julie Oliver, Angela Santucci, David Klionsky, Rob Jenkins, Greg Paul, Amy Amerson, Ashlea Barnett and, making his professional stage debut, Josh Martin as Young Jude/Little Father Time.
Tickets are $20 or $15 for students, seniors and active military. Thursday night all tickets are $10. Reservations can be made on 919-834-4001 or www.burningcoal.org.