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The Northerner

Student playwright produces first show

Katie Walker

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Nicole Jones

A group of Northern Kentucky University students will examine contemporary concepts of love and longing at 8 p.m Jan. 27, 28 and 29 in the Black Box Theatre with “Falling Hearts”. This two-act drama is written, directed and produced by sophomore theater major Christopher Karr.

Karr, his cast and crew have been practicing since November to portray the psychological, emotional and sexual relationships between 12 interconnecting characters. This is nothing you’re likely to see on the Theatre Department’s main stage, cast-member Jonathon Pernisek is quick to point out.

“It’s harder, tougher, more complicated and edgier then what you would normally see on a university stage,” Pernisek said.

Set in the year 2015, all the characters are in their late 20s and early 30s, which is the age most of the performers will be in the same year. Karr, who draws from his own life experiences and conversations, chose the near future for his drama so the show would speak directly to the age bracket of most college students.

“I want people to think,” Karr said. “I want people to recognize themselves and their relationships or not recognize themselves and then decide if they want to change.”

When the show isn’t demanding self-examination from the audience, the central theme is what Karr calls the greatest theme of all – love.

“Ultimately, it’s a love story about our generation,” he said, “but it’s a story on a CD and that CD keeps skipping and it just won’t play right.”

While Karr explores contemporary relationships in his play writing, he’s also been in charge of casting, directing and producing. Theater department faculty weren’t involved in the show, but Karr credits a directing class he took with theater professor Brian Robertson as giving him the tools he needed to guide the project. Robertson, who read an early version of the script called the story ” a fascinating interplay of relationships.”

“This is a monumental undertaking,” Robertson said. “Chris has quite a potential as a playwright. He’ll speak a language to contemporary situation. His voice will resonate with his fellow students.”

Karr hopes that curiosity will bring people to the show.

“I want people to be intrigued enough to come.” Karr said. “It’s a sad show, but there are a lot of funny moments. I’m just curious to see what people will laugh at.”

Admission to the show is donation only. Karr is encouraging people to pay what they can. All proceeds will benefit a yet-to-be chosen charity.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Student playwright produces first show