HSU senior theatre majors direct The Night of January 16th

January 18, 2020 Felicity Neptune, Staff Writer

(ABILENE, Texas)–The Hardin-Simmons Theatre Department took its slogan “Experience HSU Theatre” to a new level this semester. The final show of the fall semester opened on Nov. 22. Titled, The Night of January 16th, the interactive performance incorporated audience members into the show as jury members.

Karen Andre, played by Cat Fuller, swears to tell the truth in the murder trial of Bjorn Faulkner.
Karen Andre, played by Cat Fuller, swears to tell the truth in the murder trial of Bjorn Faulkner.

Written in the 1930s by Russian-American author, Ayn Rand, the show focuses on two determined lawyers battling it out in a courtroom determined to find the truth behind Bjorn Faulkner’s apparent suicide. The jury, randomly selected from the audience, is in control of the defendant’s fate which also determines the ending of the play.

“I thought the play was very different, and it was interesting to involve the audience,” said audience member, Lindsey Lucas. “I enjoyed how real it felt, and it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time listening to everyone’s different testimonies.”

Senior theatre education majors Hanna Hayes and Ben Burke co-directed the show.

“Ever since arriving at HSU, I knew that I wanted to direct a show for the main season,” writes Hayes in the Director’s Notes section of the show’s pamphlet. “Now that my dream has come true, it’s hard to explain how exciting it is! This process has been such a blessing for which I will be forever grateful.”

Felippe Decker, playing the part of Baliff, prevents "Guts" Regan, played by Tony Barone, from barging in the courtroom.
Felippe Decker, playing the part of Baliff, prevents “Guts” Regan, played by Tony Barone, from barging in the courtroom.

“It has been so refreshing to do what I know I am meant to do this semester,” writes Burke in his section of the Director’s Notes. “This show holds a special place in my heart because The Night of January 16th is not your typical murder mystery but a deep dive into where we place blame as humans.”

Although The Night of January 16th was the final show of the fall season, the HSU Theatre Department will have many more shows coming up in the Spring. For more information regarding the Theatre Department, or, if interested in purchasing tickets for upcoming performances, visit HSU theatre online.

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