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OBU Theatre to Present “Defying Gravity” Feb. 22 –25

February 8, 2018

OBU Theatre will present “Defying Gravity” by Jane Anderson Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in Sarkeys Telecommunications Center’s Black Box Theatre on OBU’s campus in Shawnee. The production continues the 2017-18 theatre theme, “Life, Death, and Other Curiosities.”

“Defying Gravity” takes a free structured look at the 1986 Challenger disaster by placing the teacher, who died with six others as they hurtled into space, at the center of an exploration of humanity’s need to reach beyond themselves and dare the universe.

Matthew Caron, assistant professor of theatre and director of OBU’s “Defying Gravity,” is excited to bring the production to OBU.

“Its themes of exploration, flight, curiosity and, most significantly, striving to get closer to God, resonate strongly with me as both a Christian and an artist,” Caron said. “Playwright Jane Anderson expertly weaves the disparate stories of several people connected to the tragedy together and uses the impressionist painter Monet as a way to bridge the tragedy of the past with the hope and beauty of the future.”

Grace Wohlschelegel, theatre major, is using her role as the scenographer for “Defying Gravity” as her senior capstone project. The project serves as an accumulation of the many skills she has learned while on Bison Hill. Wohlschelegel chose “Defying Gravity” as her capstone because of its emphasis on perspectives and perception.

“I am the scenographer, which means I am fulfilling every design role: set, props, lights, sound, projections, costumes, and makeup,” she said. “Typically, each role has a different designer, but a scenographer is able to unify the design for a show in a unique way. It requires the ability to see the complete picture of a show. For every design area, I have to do research and design work, like finding images, making a model, drafting, sketching costumes, makeup keys, making a light plot, paint samples, and so much more. It requires a diverse range of skill as well as immense organizational skills.

“I have always loved creating and theatre provides so many opportunities to create in different ways,” Wohlschelegel said. “While at OBU, I have been able to design in many different areas, but I wanted have a chance to do a holistic design for a show.”

There will be a talkback lead by Wohlschelegel and Caron following the Feb. 23 performance. The talkback will focus on Wohlschelegel’s contribution to the production as part of her senior capstone project.

The cast of the production includes Hunter Vicars, Elizabeth Grimes, Adam McCollough, Chase Hendrickson, Tori Smith, Grant McGee and Anna Tyler.

Tickets to “Defying Gravity” are now on sale and are $12 for adults and $5 for students.

To purchase tickets online, visit