The final presentation of the Hope College Theatre production “End Days” is tonight in the DeWitt Center main theatre.
“End Days” is a dark comedy about faith, science and the impending rapture. Directed by theatre faculty member Daina Robins, the play depicts the raw, but funny, story of a dysfunctional family coping with post- 9/11 trauma in the face of the Apocalypse.
The “Denver Post” said of a previous production of the play, “‘End Days’ directly pits science, religion and suburbia, but it’s not an attack on any of them. There’s not a trace of mockery in these extraordinary performances, each tinged with compassion, humor and heartbreak.”
“End Days” follows the Stein family, two years they have left New York City, following the shock of 9/11. Arthur, the father, suffers from survivor’s guilt and hasn’t changed out of his pajamas in weeks. Teenage Rachel is now a Goth and fending off the attentions of the Elvis impersonator next door. And Sylvia, the mother, is busy distributing evangelical pamphlets outside the video store and talking with Jesus, who actually appears onstage. When Sylvia becomes convinced that the rapture will happen this Wednesday, she determines that she and her family will be ready.
The play tells the story of that fateful Wednesday and, in the process, explores the various paths by which the family members seek healing and understanding. The 9/11 trauma has compelled the Steins to consider questions regarding life’s meaning and purpose.
"Like all of us, each individual character is grappling with life’s big questions. They pursue their individual journeys but are also looking to come together as a family and community,” says Robins said.
The production team for “End Days” includes faculty members Richard Smith as scenic and properties designer, Michelle Bombe as costume designer, and Perry Landes as lighting and sound designer. The stage manager for the production is junior Mandy Scott of Newberry; the assistant stage managers are sophomore Mariah Del Valle of Chicago, Illinois, and Deana Velandra of Tecumseh; and the dramaturg is junior Theo Zucker, of Lake Orion.
The cast includes senior Austen Boer of Holland; sophomore Calirose DiGiuseppe of Portage; junior Emma Fondell of Wilmette, Illinois; senior John Haga of Rochester Hills; and sophomore Sean Zorn of Clinton Township.
Tickets are $10 for regular admission, $7 for seniors, Hope faculty and staff, and $5 for students, and are available at the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (616) 395-7890. Patrons may purchase tickets in person or by calling the ticket office.
The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.