Anderson Theatre to Present More Light

Posted on November 15th, 2016 by

Written by Sylvia Michels

Photography by Giselle Murillo

Photography by Giselle Murillo

The Department of Theatre & Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College brings Bryrony Lavery’s More Light to the Anderson Theatre stage November 17—19 (8:00 p.m.) and November 20 (2:00 p.m.) Tickets are now on sale at and will also be available at the door 1 hour prior to show time.

Inspired by the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China and founder of the Qin dynasty, More Light, was commissioned and first produced by National Theatre Connections in 1997. The play follows the More Light and the Ladies of the Emperor into his tomb knowing very well “the gates will be locked, the entrance sealed, and no one on this earth will know where my [The Emperor’s] tomb is.” It examines the lives of these women and their relationships, as they struggle with moral choices and survival. It is a poetic and breathtaking journey of loss, discovery and empowerment.

The challenge for the artistic team was to combine the scene of the burial vaults of the Emperor and the famous terra-cotta warriors of Xi’an, China, and the stories of the Emperor’s ladies. The result is an amazing visual and audio production, led by Micah J Maatman and department alumna Lydia Francis ’11 in scenic design, Larissa McConnell in costume and make-up design, Terena Wilkens as lighting design, and 2016 graduate Aaron Bogen who has returned to develop original music for More Light. Maddie Bakken ‘19 created the choreography.

A predominately male cast will perform November 17 and 19 at 8:00 p.m. A predominately female cast will perform November 18 at 8:00 p.m. and 20 at 2:00 p.m. An all-male cast for a play focused on the plight of women certainly presented risks for Director Henry MacCarthy but what followed is proof of the transformative experience theatre can provide for receptive young actors. Many Gustavus students, male and female, have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn first-hand about oppression through embodying the oppressed in an honest and respectful way.

National Theatre Connections was created by teachers and directors twenty-one years ago to create “exciting and challenging new plays for young actors,” in the belief that young people deserve the opportunity to perform moving pieces from the best new playwrights. More Light is an irreplaceable learning opportunity for everyone thinking critically about history, discovery, and identity.

Tickets for More Light at Anderson Theatre are $9.00 for adults and $6.00 for seniors and non-Gustavus students. Gustavus students and staff receive one complimentary ticket each. Tickets may be purchased online at Gustavus Tickets. Click the “Campus Events” option to select show times and seats. Tickets remaining on sale may be purchased at Anderson Theatre beginning one hour prior to the start of the show.

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One Comment

  1. Rita J whitford, aka Tutu says:

    Break a leg to all cast members,especially my grand daughter Danann, for this is her first production at Gustavus. Wish I could see it but it is a little too far to travel, since we live on Maui.