Elie Wiesel’s ‘Trial of God’ Performed at McKendree Mar. 29-Apr. 1

Where is God in All This? Where is God When the Innocent Suffer?

Lebanon, Ill. – In a world where bad things happen to good people, where do we go to find answers? When the unthinkable happens and we are left with nothing, who do we turn to for help?

The McKendree University Theater Department’s spring production tackles these pertinent and difficult questions in “The Trial of God” by Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The production is part of campus-wide Interfaith Global Community Week activities. It will feature post-show discussions with local representatives of many religious traditions.

The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on Mar. 29, 30 and 31, and at 2:30 p.m. on Apr. 1 at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus. Admission is free and seating is general admission.

The idea for the play came from an event that Wiesel witnessed as a boy in Auschwitz: “Three rabbis—all erudite and pious men—decided one evening to indict God for allowing His children to be massacred. I remember: I was there, and I felt like crying. But there nobody cried.”

Senior religious studies and theater major Brad Gebben, of Effingham, stars as Berish, a broken Jewish innkeeper who has suffered terrible loss and is both furious and confused by God. When his entire town is massacred in a pogrom, he is left to live with the damage and heartache. Instead of the usual drinking and celebration of the traditional Jewish holiday of Purim, Berish decides to turn his inn into a courtroom and puts God on trial for the crimes against His people.

Other cast members are senior theater majors Tia Turnipseed of Granite City as Maria and assistant director Cara Polczynski, of DuBois, as Mendel; sophomore theater major Nathaniel Luckett, of Freeburg, as Avremel; freshman theater major Kelsey McGuire, of Old Monroe, Mo., as Yankle; freshman music performance major Sage Phillips, of Smithton, as the Priest; junior elementary education and theater major Allie Stevens, of Carterville, as Hanna; and junior theater major Tyler Campbell, of Trenton, as Sam.

Crew members are senior psychology major Genni Strathman, of Florissant, Mo., and freshman theater major Rebecca Blake, of Waterloo, co-stage managers; and junior theater and business management major Shayna Dixon, light board operator.

For more information, contact the box office at (618) 537-6863 or Michelle Magnussen at (618) 537-6586, mlmagnussen@mckendree.edu.