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Live On Stage: “The Giver”
February 23 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Eleven-year-old Jonas (Matthew Minassian) lives in an isolated, seemingly perfect community with his assigned family unit: Father (James Taylor), Mother (Laura Bradford), and younger sister Lily (Joyous Richards). There is no war, fear, or pain in the community. All is grey “Sameness,” and people are “protected from making wrong choices.”
Everyone is assigned a lifetime role in a special ceremony at the age of 12. Some will care for the elderly, like Larissa (Danuta Jacob), who live in the House of the Old. In the Nurturing Center, others raise “newchildren” like baby Gabriel, who comes to stay with Jonas’ family for extra care. Others in the community (Hannah Cobb, Mia Comas, Joy Newkirk, Darrell Riley, Camden Ruef, William Torres, Damon Vitale) serve a variety of functions: elders, instructors, laborers, birthmothers, and so on.
Jonas and his friends Asher (Sam Newkirk) and Fiona (Sandra McDonald) are anxiously awaiting their own Ceremony of Twelve. But at the ceremony, the Chief Elder (Linda Starkweather) announces that Jonas has been chosen for a special assignment: to become the next Receiver of Memory, the one person entrusted with the collective memories of humanity’s past. Jonas will receive special training from the old man who has been the Receiver of Memory for many years and is now known as The Giver (Randall Moring).
As The Giver shares memories of the past, Jonas experiences true pleasure and pain for the first time. He delights in the simple joys of snow and sunshine, feels the warmth of family holidays and birthday parties, reads books, learns what love and colors are. He also suffers through memories of war and starvation as the history of mankind is revealed to him.
Jonas also finds out what happened ten years ago when a previous Receiver of Memory, Rosemary (Grace Moring), failed in her assignment and mysteriously disappeared from the community. And when Jonas discovers the shocking reality of his world, he must make one of the first choices of his young life – and the hardest one.
Playwright Eric Coble has adapted this haunting, thought-provoking drama from Lois Lowry’s best-selling young-adult novel. The book won the 1994 Newbery Medal, among numerous other awards, and inspired the 2014 film version featuring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.
“The Giver” is directed by Chris Jorie. Stage manager is Ginny Riley. Set design is by Timothy J. Dygert. Costume design is by Eryn Brooks Brewer. Lighting and sound design is by Jeffrey M. Davis.
There will be 11 public performances of “The Giver” from February 15-25, 2018 at Ocala Civic Theatre. Reserve your tickets for opening night and join us on Thursday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m. for a reception an hour before the premiere performance. Delicious refreshments are catered by HoneyBaked Ham, and beer and wine are available for purchase. Come celebrate the excitement of opening night!
Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for Ocala Civic Theatre subscribers, and $12 for full-time students (school ID required for college students). For more information or to purchase tickets, call (352) 236-2274 or go to http://www.ocalacivictheatre.com.