George Fox’s theatre department presents original production, ‘Deus Ex Millennia,’ as spring drama

March 29th, 2017

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Shows scheduled April 6-9 and 12-14 in school’s Wood-Mar Auditorium

NEWBERG, Ore. – George Fox University’s theatre department will present an original drama, Deus Ex Millennia, on the university’s Wood-Mar Auditorium stage this spring.

Directed by Rhett Luedtke, professor of theatre at George Fox, the production will be presented Thursday through Sunday, April 6-9, and again Wednesday through Friday, April 12-14. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, April 9, performance, scheduled as a 2 p.m. matinee.

Tickets – $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and George Fox alumni, and $6 for students and children under 12 – can be purchased online at Tickets are also available for purchase in the university’s box office, located in the Bruin Store, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, or in the lobby box office one hour prior to each production.

Inspiration for the play’s title comes from the term “deus ex machina,” which refers to the “god machine” in ancient Greek theatre that lowered an actor over the stage at the end of a play to wrap the plot up into a nice, tidy conclusion.

According to Director Leudtke, a select group of theatre students, both actors and designers, began with the phrase “Deus ex Millennia” – a twist on the original Greek phrase – and were tasked to explore ways in which millennials encounter God and seek grace in the midst of untidy endings. The exploration led the students to the subject of mass shootings on campuses and universities across the nation. The play centers on the stories of seven students who find themselves hiding in a closet during an active shooter event.

“Each character faces a specific hardship that millennials, and others, encounter on a daily basis,” Luedtke said. “As such, the play deals with difficult subject matter that represents various cultural divides. How do our students navigate a divisive and divided culture and the expressions of faithfulness from both sides of that divide? What do millennials have to offer as a social critique of our world, and what do they face as they meet the deepest challenges in society?”

The cast includes Braden Graves (“Alan”), a sophomore theatre major from Prineville, Oregon; Cora Beeman (“Addison”), a sophomore theatre major from Bellevue, Wash.; Michaela Conley (“Naomi”), a senior theatre major from Redmond, Ore.; Trevor Braskamp (“Levi”), a freshman theatre major from Elk Grove, California; Sierra Brambila (“Lupe”), a senior political science major from Portland, Oregon; Courtney Bither (“Quinn”), a senior biblical studies major from Newberg, Oregon; and Justine Hostetler (“Silent”), a freshman communication arts major from Battle Ground, Washington.

The George Fox University theatre department has been recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. with awards for individual acting, set design, and overall production.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.


Rhett Luedtke
Professor of Theatre, George Fox University

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