The Giver To Be Performed At Central Methodist

The highly-respected theatre group The National Players will perform the theatrical version of The Giver on The Little Theatre stage on Monday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. on the Fayette campus of Central Methodist University.

The play is free and all are welcome to attend.

The novel The Giver was written in 1993 by Lois Ann Lowry and won her a Newbery Award. She has written more than 40 books for kids and young adults. The Giver was also made into a movie in 2014.

Lowry created the town of Sameness with its memory- and emotion-erasing drugs after her father was put in a nursing home and began to lose his memory. This led Lowry to question how society might be different, perhaps even better, if people did not have memories. She imbued her town with this quality, thinking it might become a Utopian location. She was wrong.

In The Giver, Sameness is a peaceful community where no one wants for anything--but that peace is achieved at the expense of deep emotions like love, color and choice. Many seemingly Utopian worlds really mask dystopian elements.

“I had to figure out what their world would consist of and what they had been able to control,” she said during an NPR interview. “They were without war, poverty, crime, alcoholism, divorce--and without the troubling memories of those things. Only gradually did I begin to understand that I was not creating a utopia--but a dystopia.”

The novel is often labeled the first dystopian young adult novel.

In the story, young Jonas is assigned the lifelong job of learning and keeping the memories, good and bad, of all the people of Sameness from the early days. His mentor is “the giver.” In his process through the story, Jonas must decide what to do with all these new “memories” and whether he is strong enough to fulfill his role.

The National Players is a unique ensemble outreach program of the Olney Theatre Center in Olney, Md., just north of Washington, D.C. It exists to empower learners to build stronger communities through artistic collaboration. It has performed for more than 2.9 million people worldwide.

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