The realities of raising children in poverty can be emotionally charged and troubling. It is also a very real problem that playwright Suzan-Lori Parks addresses in her raw and powerful play, “In the Blood.”
NIU’s School of Theatre and Dance will present its next Studio Series production from Thursday, Feb. 17, through Sunday, Feb. 20, in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
“In the Blood” is a modern-day adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Parks’ gritty dramatic rendition follows Hester, the namesake of Hawthorne’s protagonist, as she attempts to navigate the hazards of poverty while raising her five children.
“(In the Blood) takes the themes and character developments of the ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and transplants them into a section of life and reality that we do not always associate with these issues,” says director Anthony Perella Jr.
Parks is an African-American playwright whose plays have garnered a number of awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for her drama, “Topdog/Underdog.”
Perella describes Parks’ other works as being avant-garde in style, but he notes that “In the Blood” follows a more traditional structure. “However, (Parks) amazingly integrated her usually unrealistic style into the script to make the play seem hyper-realistic,” he adds.
“Even though it is a very stripped down piece, (In the Blood) is a very illusively technical piece,” Perella says.
As such, NIU’s performance will be a multimedia production with a “unique usage of space.” The smaller venue of the Corner Theatre will play to the intimacy of the story and put the audience into the middle of the drama.
Tickets are $5 and can only be purchased on the night of the show. Tickets go on sale one hour prior to show time at the box office in the lobby of the Stevens Building on the DeKalb campus.
For further information, contact the box office at (815) 753-1600.