Twenty years after its debut, a late, local playwright’s most personal play will take to the stage this week. Ken Bradbury’s “Bradbury by Bradbury” will be featured this week as part of Illinois College’s Fine Arts Series beginning on Friday. President of the Bradbury Foundation, Maryjane Million, provides times and costs for tickets: “It will be at Sibert Theatre on the Illinois College campus. It opens on November 7th and will run on the 8th, 9th, and 10th. The Thursday and Friday performances will be at 7:30PM and the Saturday and Sunday performances will be 2 o’clock matinees. The tickets are $15 a piece, a bargain at twice that price; and they can be purchased through the Illinois College alumni office at 245-3260 and also on the Illinois College website under the Fine Arts series.”
Terri Benz of the Illinois College Fine Arts Board says the date and show were in deliberate honor to Bradbury’s life and work with fine arts at the college “Last Spring, when the Illinois College Fine Arts series was trying to lay out our programs for this season, Garrett Allman came to me and said that it was our 40th anniversary as a fine arts series and wanted to know if we could do something special to honor Ken because he was on our board. We had just lost him and that was still pretty raw. We were trying to think of what we could do to honor him and it was Garrett’s idea if we could possibly bring a show to our stage during our special 40th anniversary season.”
Benz said that having some of the original cast back for the anniversary show was poignant: “I went to Maryjane and we kind of talked about the pros and cons and looked at different shows. She found that as she was researching this show was written for Illinois College 20 years ago this November. Not only is it a 40th anniversary for our series but it’s a 20th anniversary month for that show. It just seemed the perfect way to go, and some of the cast members of the original show who were Illinois College students are still here in the community. We hoped that they would be willing to do the show. We’ve supplemented with some IC alums that are a little younger but who are familiar with Illinois College and Ken and the show.”
Million will be directing the show and said that putting the original cast along with supplementing with some other members from Ken’s past has made the show really come together. Million describes the theme of the work: “This is actually a collection of one-act plays that Ken wrote and they chronicle the journey of faith. It’s a cross-section of some of his greatest and most personal work. It is timeless and relevant as it was when it was first performed. It may be even more relevant now.”
The production, also known as “Cries of Faith,” will feature Illinois College alumni Kristin Van Aken-Jamison, Leah Lowes-Brock, Luke Crawford, Tim Chipman, Squire Prince, Buford Stowers, and current IC student Willem Kline. Individual tickets for the Illinois College Fine Arts Series are $15, and season tickets, which include all five performances, are available for $60 each. Students of all ages receive free admission. Tickets are available for purchase in advance by phone at 245-3046 or at the door. A deaf/hard of hearing interpreter will be available for the show on Thursday. For more information about the Fine Arts Series, contact Jennifer Phebus at 245-3260.