Major Arcana presents reading of Jesuit play “Imago Dei”
James Barcomb, Arts & Leisure Editor
April 12, 2012
Filed under Arts & Leisure
Student-run theater group Major Arcana will present a dramatic reading of “Imago Dei: Journeys of Courage, Hope, and Home,” a documentary-style play that revolves around people involved in and associated with the Jesuit Refugee Service. The production will run April 16 and 17 in the W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts.
“The play uses the actual words of refugees and people that have worked with refugees, like Jesuits and relief workers,” director Joe Bates said. “It was written by students in the drama program at Jesuit High School in Sacramento.”
The reading will be part of a series of events sponsored by Projects in the Community (PIC) and Amnesty International.
“The first event is on April 12 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Den,” Bates said, ”and it is an event based on writing letters to children in the Sudan. The other event, on April 19 in the James Commons at 8 p.m., is a screening of the documentary ‘Rebuilding Hope.’ Gabriel Bol Deng (Le Moyne alum and founder of Hope for Ariang) will be attending this event and will be given the letters to go to his Ariang school.”
Bates, a sophomore English major, first brought up the idea of a performance of “Imago Dei” to Major Arcana.
“We decided to do it as a dramatic reading for a couple of reasons,” Bates said. “The main reason is that with the amount of time we had to put this together, it was just easiest to do a dramatic reading. However, in terms of blocking and the style of the play, the play actually works perfectly as a reading.”
The reading is presented by eight Le Moyne students, each coming from a slightly different background.
“Our diverse group of students originates from four different countries, speaks four languages between all of them and covers at least eight programs of study,” production manager and junior theatre arts major Lizz Allers noted. “They are freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Some of them have done more shows than they can count and for some, this is their first theatrical endeavor.”
Despite having a short amount of time to prepare and a few students unfamiliar with theater, everything seems to be going smoothly. Bates, for one, is thrilled for the upcoming event.
“One thing that really excites me about these performances is the dedication and excitement of everyone involved,” he said. “All eight readers and everyone else that we have asked to help have responded in an extremely helpful way.
“If audience members don’t take anything else away, I hope they leave with knowledge about the things that are happening all around the world causing people to become refugees,” Bates said. “However, I really hope that it inspires people to take action to learn more or take action to help refugees (after all, there is a refugee community in Syracuse).”
Major Arcana’s presentation of “Imago Dei” will take place Monday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 17 at 8 p.m. in the Marren Studio at the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are free.