The Eastern Illinois University theatre department will present a humorous take on how people gleefully twist their convictions to rationalize bad behavior with its staging of "Incorruptible: A Dark Comedy About the Dark Ages."
Performances are set for 7 p.m. April 16, 17, 19 and 20, as well as 2 p.m. April 18, in the Doudna Fine Arts Center's Black Box Theatre. The play is not recommended for those younger than high-school age.
The cast includes Tim Mason, Brian McElligott, Geoffrey Zokal, Grant Molen, Dar'Keith Lofton, Katy Kruzic, Mallory Stringfellow and Caitlin Carroll.
The play, Michael Hollinger's satirical look at the fragility of faith in the face of survival, is set in Priseaux, France, in 1250.
"The river flooded again last week," reads the synopsis provided by the Dramatists Play Service. "The chandler's shop just burned to the ground. Nobody's heard of the wheelbarrow yet. And St. Foy, the patron of the local monastery, hasn't worked a miracle in 13 years.
"In other words, the Dark Ages still look pretty dark. All eyes turn to the pope, whose promised visit will surely encourage other pilgrims to make the trek and restore the abbey to its former glory. That is, until a rival church claims to possess the relics of St. Foy -- and 'their' bones are working miracles.
"All seems lost until the destitute monks take a lesson from a larcenous one-eyed minstrel, who teaches them an outrageous new way to pay old debts."
"Incorruptible" has received rave reviews. American Theatre called it "a lightning-fast farce, rich in both verbal and physical humor," and Philadelphia Weekly described it as "a farcical romp, scintillating and irreverent."
"Everything fits snugly in this funny, endearing black comedy," read a review in the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Hollinger understands how to balance verbal and physical humor, how to sketch personality in a few deft strokes, how to pause here and there to allow his audience to catch its breath, how to bring on a new character at just the right time, and how to write dialogue that's an artful blend of the mock-formal and the anachronistically breezy. A piece of remarkably dexterous craftsmanship."
Tickets -- $12 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and EIU employees, and $5 for students -- may be purchased in the Doudna Fine Arts Center box office (217-581-3110) from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or one hour before each performance. Tickets may also be reserved via e-mail at email@example.com.
The Doudna Fine Arts Center, a division of EIU's College of Arts and Humanities, is located one block west of Ninth Street at Garfield Avenue in Charleston.
For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.eiu.edu/doudna.