Play at Eureka College coming up

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

The Eureka College Theater Department will open its season with George Bernard Shaw’s comedy “Arms and the Man” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4-8 and 2 p.m. Oct. 9 in Pritchard Theatre.

Set during the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885-1886, the play explores the implications of war, war protestors and conscientious objectors. The action revolves around an idealistic young woman named Raina, who is engaged to a war hero. After a mercenary soldier from the opposing army bursts through her window, she harbors him so that he won’t be killed.  Although she thinks the soldier is a coward, since he carries chocolates instead of pistol cartridges, her experiences with him force her to confront her romantic notions of love and war.  

The play employs irony in its title, which is taken from the opening lines of the epic poem “The Aeneid,” written in 19 B.C. and which glorifies war. The comedy of the play comes from its contrasting characters, surprising opinions, mistaken identities, unexpected turns of events, irony, satire and wit. It premiered in London in 1894.

Cast in lead roles are Laura Espinoza of Chicago as Raina and Jerrod Barth of Minonk as the soldier she befriends.  Rounding out the cast are Scott Herman of Park Ridge as Raina’s fiancé, Justin Peters of Pekin as Raina’s father, Valerie Rodriguez of Chicago as Raina’s mother, Ali Hall of Pekin as a scheming servant girl, Jacob Coombs of East Peoria as a faithful family servant and Coleman Payne of El Paso as a Russian officer.  

Assistant professor of theater Marty Lynch will direct.  

Tickets for the production cost $7 for adults and $5 for students. For reservations call the box office at (309) 467-6363.