George Fox University’s theatre department presents ‘Tongue of a Bird’ as its winter drama

January 4th, 2018

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Shows scheduled Jan. 25-27 and Feb. 1-4 in school’s Wood-Mar Auditorium

NEWBERG, Ore. – A play that explores the power of female friendships will take over George Fox University’s Wood-Mar Auditorium in late January and early February, as the school’s theatre department presents Ellen McLaughlin’s Tongue of a Bird as its winter drama.

Directed by Audrey O’Farrell, a senior theatre major at George Fox, the play runs Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 25-27, and again Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 1-4, in the school’s Wood-Mar Auditorium. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, Feb. 4, 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.

The play tells the story of Maxine, a search and rescue pilot who returns to her childhood home to conduct a search for a girl who has been abducted. The girl’s survival and rescue – if she is still alive – hinges on Maxine’s expertise. Ultimately, the story focuses on the journey of five courageous women struggling to face life’s challenges with tenacity and courage.

“This play shows the importance and power of female relationships,” O’Farrell said. “I think it’s important to see women empowering each other, but I also think it’s important to show independent women confronting issues themselves. I am compelled by the independence, complexity and perseverance of each character.

“I care about presenting a play that focuses on depression and suicide because I think that mental health is so often simplified and minimized in Christian communities. This play portrays these difficult subjects in a way that explores the effects of depression and its pervasive nature.”

The cast includes Sarah Aldrich (“Maxine”), a senior theatre major from Mulino, Oregon; Hope Bellinger (“Zofia”), a sophomore theatre major from Ocean Park, Washington; JeanneAnn Faris (“Dessa”), a junior theatre major from Coto de Caza, California; Lauren Herman (“Charlotte”), a freshman double major in theatre and English from Estacada, Oregon; and Hannah Strawn (“Evie”), a junior theatre and psychology double major from Riverside, California.

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. Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. 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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