Religion and science collide in playwright Catherine Trieschmann's How the World Began, a visceral examination of the way in which we navigate interpersonal relationships involving seemingly irreconcilable beliefs - and just how hard it is to truly listen to one another in an increasingly polarized world. Looking to rebuild her fractured life, high school biology teacher Susan relocates from New York City to a small Kansas town reeling in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Ready for more than a little culture shock, Susan finds herself unprepared for the firestorm that engulfs the town after she makes an off-hand comment about the origin of the universe. Rep Associate Artistic Director Brent Hazelton, who directed last season's Stackner Cabaret production Song Man Dance Man and wrote and who directed the smash-hit Liberace! the previous season, will direct the play. The production features Rep Associate Artist Deborah Staples and as well as features Ben Charles and Marty Lodge, both making their Rep debuts. How the World Began runs in the Stiemke Studio from January 16 - February 24, and opens on Friday, January 18.
"We live in a society that is growing more stringent in terms of how we express our views," says Artistic Director Mark Clements. "If the play contains a lesson, it is to ask us to listen to the other side - to remember that nothing is ever as black-and-white as we might think, and that we could all become more well-rounded individuals by being more tolerant of those who hold opposing viewpoints."
Director Brent Hazelton had this to add: "How the World Began is a terrific new play that gets right to the heart of one of the problems plaguing our society today - the inability to have meaningful conversations and ultimately come to mutually-beneficial consensus around strongly-held, polarizing beliefs. It's an up-to-the-minute contemporary piece of theater that is fascinating, thought-provoking and ultimately heart-tugging."