Cameron University Department of Theatre Arts presents “The Great Game: Afghanistan”

In conjunction with “Afghanistan: Its Complexities and Relevance,” Cameron University’s triennial Academic Festival, the Cameron University Department of Theatre Arts will present “The Great Game: Afghanistan” from November 17-20 at the Cameron University Theatre. The collection of five one-act plays, directed by Scott Richard Klein, department chair, follows the story of Afghanistan from the British occupation of the 1890s to the present day. Shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday’s performance starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for Students/Senior Citizens/Military.  Admission is free to CU students with valid ID.

“Durand’s Line” by Ron Hutchinson is the true story of British diplomat Sir Henry Mortimer Durant, who engages Amir Abdul Rahman in a stunning duel of wits as the former wants to subjugate the Afghan natives and the latter fights to protect his country’s borders. Colton Rowe of Cache plays Durand, and Alex Huff of Lawton plays Rahman. Dylan Bittner of Lawton and Brenda Sodano of West Orange, N.J., have supporting roles.

Lee Blessing’s “Wood for the Fire” investigates the alliance between the CIA, the ISI (Pakistan's Intelligence agency) and the Mujahedeen, which was created to destabilize the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Brandon Smith, Blair; Brandon Landers, Lawton; Leah Mazur, Cache; and Alex Huff, Lawton, bring the action to life.

In “Miniskirts of Kabul” by David Greig, a female Western journalist, played by Brandi Goldsmith of Lawton, uses her imagination to conjure up a meeting with former pro-communist President Mohammad Najibullah, played by Jay Diaz of Compton, Calif., who is under house arrest in a United Nations compound. As the Taliban closes in on Kabul, their sometimes hilarious and often horrific conversation covers topics such as hemlines, the Soviet occupation, torture and more.

“Canopy of Stars” by Simon Stephens is the story of two soldiers in a bunker guarding the Kajaki Dam. They talk of chips and gravy, football, women and whether the British should start to negotiate with the Taliban insurgents. The play is a searing insight into soldiers at war and what happens when they go home. Landers and Bittner take the lead roles, while Rowe, Smith, Goldsmith, Huff and Mazur complete the cast.

Naomi Wallace’s “No Such Cold Thing” explores the American war in Afghanistan in human terms through the story of two Afghan teenage sisters, played by Sodano and Calyn Jurgensen of Fletcher, divided by conflict and the U.S. serviceman, played by Diaz, who finds an intimately human connection to their tragedy.

Costumers and make-up are designed by Hannah Brock, Lawton. Truly Pettijohn, Marlow, is responsible for property design, and Oluwatobi O. Banto, Ipaja, Lagos, Nigeria, is the sound designer. Brett Jolly, Lawton, is the stage manager for the production.                                                    

Cameron’s Department of Theatre Arts is a member of the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association.


November 4, 2011