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Vietnam War-era Drama to be Performed at Elmhurst College Beginning March 1
America’s colleges and universities have long been the vanguard of our most ferocious national debates, from immigration law to civil rights to war.
This is the population at the center of Rich Orloff’s theatrical documentary Days of Possibilities, which profiles Oberlin College students in the late 1960s. All are grappling with the moral cost and terrible ambiguities of the Vietnam War. Some decide to vigorously protest the military engagement, while others wrestle with more ambivalent feelings. As the years pass, and the conflict in Southeast Asia escalates, so do tensions on campus, until the action reaches a horrible climax with the shootings at nearby Kent State.
Days of Possibilities will be performed at Elmhurst College beginning on Thursday, March 1.
Orloff’s script is based on letters from Oberlin students as well as first-person interviews, and while it is very much a play about the 1960s, the themes—political disillusionment, challenging authority—will resonate strongly with today’s audiences.
Director Alan Weiger teaches a class at Elmhurst about the 1960s.
“As a ‘Boomer,’ I came of age during that time, and while my adolescent mind couldn’t really process all the events that were occurring, I knew things were happening that were meaningful,” he said.
Weiger said he’s always wanted to do a play set in the ’60s, but decided on Orloff’s script only after the playwright sent Weiger an unsolicited email, offering the play for production.
Weiger is looking forward to sharing the play with the Elmhurst community, in part because this so-called period piece remains profoundly relevant. “It chronicles many of the issues that college students deal with regardless of the era,” he said.
Thursday-Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m. the Sunday performance begins at 2 p.m.