Set in the slums of Paris before the commencement of World War I, Chico and Diane, two very different people, meet. Chico, a sworn atheist, helps Diane, a timid girl, find courage. Will their relationship survive World War I?
In celebration of 100 years since the end of World War I and the signing of the armistice, the theater department is sharing their production of Seventh Heaven.
The central messages of the play revolve around themes of hope and finding faith in God and faith in one’s self.
“One of the characters big challenge is finding her bravery, her courage, her independence, and be able to stand up for herself,” said Jodi Fialho, the stage manager and a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies. “For another principal character, his challenge is going from atheism to belief in God. They have this journey where they help each other to do those things.”
While the play does deal with some tough topics such as abuse, loss and war, the play strives to let the audience know that they are never too far from God.
“Diane, one of the main characters, has a big group of people that love her and it takes her a while to see and recognize that,” said Brittney Berns, assistant director and a senior studying theater education. “I hope the audience finds that they are never too lost no matter how much of a dark pit that they feel that they are in; there is always hope.”
One area the department has emphasized on is using characters relationships to convey these messages. Berns said the actors have had to hash out their characters’ relationships. During rehearsal, the directors make sure to pause and ask the actors what their characters’ motives are behind their words and actions.
One of the challenges the crew has faced is the number of people and props involved.
“There is so much that goes into a play,” Fialho said.”The show is a really large show and a lot of people are involved in it. The tech is massive; also coming to understand characters relationships and the themes of the show and trying to communicate that has been an exciting challenge for the actors.”
In designing the stage, Gary Benson, the director, wanted to show the slums of Paris illuminated with light. He was inspired by the art of Thomas Kinkade in designing the stage. The effect is to inspire hope and light even in the darkest of places.
Performances of Seventh Heaven will be held in the Snow Drama theater beginning on Nov. 27 and running through Dec. 8.
To purchase tickets for the play, visit the Ticket Office located in the BYU-Idaho bookstore or visit their website.