Baylor Theatre Season Begins with Questions of Race in Modern America

Sept. 12, 2007

The Baylor University Theatre Arts department will debut its 2007-2008 season with Spinning into Butter, which will run at 7:30 p.m. from Tuesday, Sept. 18, through Saturday, Sept. 22, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, in the Mabee Theatre of the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center on Baylor's campus.

The contemporary play, written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Baylor graduate student Whitney Smith, is a frank and provocative examination of the state of modern American racial politics. Set on a college campus, the play tackles questions of racial guilt and suspicion with frank determination.

In Spinning into Butter, an idyllic New England university is shocked awake when Simon Brick, one of its few African American students, becomes the victim of racially-motivated harassment. Dean Sarah Daniels, who sees herself as progressive and enlightened, is forced to examine her own assumptions and complacent political correctness.

Spinning into Butter will leave the audience asking itself important questions: After a century-and-a-half-long national conversation about race, how much have our attitudes really changed? Can one ever truly understand someone from another background? And why is America so obsessed with race anyway?

The student cast includes Lisa Stucker, Justin Locklear, Deborah Benesh, Noel Collins, Sam Hough, Patrick Matzig and Joey Melcher.

"What is so interesting about Spinning into Butter is that it's about what it is to objectify, not how it feels to be objectified," Smith said. "I wanted to direct a piece that was meaningful, hard-edged and academically challenging. My hope is that the audience can leave the theater thinking and arguing into the night."

Tickets cost $15 or $10 with a Baylor ID. For tickets or more information, call (254) 710-1865, or visit www.baylor.edu/theatre to purchase tickets online.

The mission of the Baylor University Department of Theatre Arts is to prepare students for theatre arts related fields by integrating excellence in traditional scholarship and artistic creativity with a Christian worldview. The mission of Baylor Theatre is to act as a cultural laboratory which engages the university, the larger community of artist scholars, and the world.

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