Machinal

An expressionistic drama about on a young woman in the 1920s whose limitations and restrictions ultimately push her to commit a horrible crime opens the theater season for Augustana College, Rock Island. "Machinal" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts, 3701 7th Ave. Tickets are $11 for the general public, $9 for senior citizens, students and Augustana faculty/staff and can be purchased by calling 309-794-7306 or online at augustana.edu/tickets. Defined as "automatic" and "mechanical" in French, "Machinal" is based loosely on the murder trial of Ruth Snyder and her lover. The show focuses on the confining relationship between Helen Jones (Christine Broughton, right) and her husband, George H. Jones. When another man (Debo Balogun) gives Helen a momentary glimpse of passion, her life is forever changed. “I have wanted to direct this play ever since I first read it 15 years ago. I would contend that 'Machinal' is the greatest Expressionist play ever written, and I am thrilled that so many theaters and scholars are studying and performing it," director Jennifer Popple said in a news release.  “The play is about a real woman and feels as urgent today as it must have when it premiered in 1928. The play’s focus — the person who doesn’t fit into a cold, impersonal world — is moving and important to discuss today,” Popple added. Augustana’s production incorporates student beat boxer Caleb Ivey, who creates the sounds related to the scenes and machinery.

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