GWU Theatre to Present “The Children’s Hour”

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Production Takes Stage at Gardner-Webb’s Millennium Playhouse Oct. 2-5

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A play that started on Broadway in the 1930s and was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film in the 1960s will take the stage at Gardner-Webb University next month. The GWU Theatre Department will present “The Children’s Hour” from Oct. 2-5 in the Millennium Playhouse on campus.

Written by Lillian Hellman and set in the 1930s, the story chronicles a girls boarding school ripped apart by a terrible lie. Regarded as a masterpiece of American literature, the production shows the potential harm of falsehood through its impact on the school’s students and founders.

“It’s a well-known early 20th-century American play by a famous playwright, Hellman. In recent years we have not done a classic American play, so this was a good opportunity,” shared Dr. Chris Nelson, GWU department chair and assistant professor of theatre. “This play was very controversial in its time. While not likely to induce the extreme reactions of its day, it does deal with themes that remain relevant and which I hope will spur healthy discussion.”

In the 1960s the play was adapted into a dramatic film that starred Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner. The big-screen version was nominated for five Academy Awards.

“The play is a drama with occasional moments of humor, and it’s a very serious piece in the same vein as Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, and Arthur Miller, all contemporaries of Hellman,” Nelson offered. “So audiences will not be in the aisles laughing, but I hope they will enjoy the conflict and emotion that this play is designed to generate.”

Gardner-Webb’s presentation of “The Children’s Hour” will be staged Oct. 2-5. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. each night, with the exception of a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 4. GWU students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with university identification. For additional ticket information, contact the theatre box office at 704-406-2066 or at rsams@gardner-webb.edu.

Due to the content of the play, parental guidance is advised.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704.406.4253 or email servicerequests@gardner-webb.edu with your request.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for professional success and for productive citizenship.