The Truth Prevails in Catawba's Production of 'The Life of Galileo'

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 13, 2012

Catawba College’s first theatrical production of the new academic year, “The Life of Galileo,” runs at 6:55 p.m. on Sept.18-19, and at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20-22 in Hedrick Little Theatre on campus.
Written by Bertolt Brecht in 1938 during the rise of Nazi Germany, the play is set in 1610 and follows the meteoric rise to world recognition of Italian astronomer and the “father of science,” Galileo. As Galileo’s reputation grows and he argues politics, religion, science, human rights, sin and individual conscience, the Catholic Church wants to silence his voice.
In one scene, Galileo is asked by Little Monk, “But won’t the truth… prevail without us?”
Galileo’s response to him is almost a summary of Galileo’s life itself: “No, no, no. As much of the truth will prevail as we make prevail.”
Brecht is known for his poetry, his plays, and his political views spread through many art forms. Many argue that “The Life of Galileo” is his greatest work. This play’s most famous runs were mounted at The National Theatre (London) in 1980 and in 2004 to sold-out crowds. However, this past spring, the show was staged on Broadway and starred F. Murray Abraham.
Catawba’s production, directed by Theatre Arts Professor Dayna Anderson, will feature amazing images from the Hubble Telescope in a “planetarium show.” It is suitable for young adults, but may be confusing for younger children.
Cast members include junior Jordan Clifton of Garner; senior Alicia Almodovar of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; senior Sara Coon of Dallas Tex.; junior Jura Davis of Charlotte; sophomore Matt Ensley of Concord; senior Leana Guzman of Charlotte; sophomore Ashley O’Donnell of Rehoboth Beach, Del.; sophomore Shannon O’Donnell of Land O’Lakes, Fla.; sophomore Ruby Osorio of Hickory; senior Collette Riddle of Roanoke, Va.; sophomore Iliana Rivera of Burlington; and senior Rayshaun Sandlin of Knightdale.
This production features student designers junior Jerry Archer of Candler, lighting; senior Aaron Alderman of Durham, sound; and junior Brianna Markle of Charlotte, hair and make-up. Other designers include Theatre Arts Professors David Pulliam, Scenic; Erin Dougherty, costumes; and Christopher D. Zink, technical director.
Student leaders on the technical side of this production include sophomore Tyler Elrod of Davidson, assistant technical director; senior Courtney Cowman of Hamilton, N.J., stage manager; sophomore Maggie Saunders of Huntington, W.Va. , assistant stage manager; senior Kara Procell of Bel Air, Md., master carpenter; sophomore Eric English of Horse Shoe, lead carpenter; senior Greg Stoughton of Niceville, Fla., master electrician; sophomore Pen Chance of Augusta, Ga., lead electrician; junior Ashley Jackson of University Place, Wash., first hand; senior Katie Higgins of Durham, second hand; junior Cody Gasque of Salisbury, props master; junior Allison Andrews of Sherrills Ford, lead props artisan; senior Sydney Berk of Encino, Calif., Charge Artist; and junior Ashton Tibbitt of Sanford, lead scenic.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for non-Catawba students and senior citizens, with group discounts available. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the box office on the nights of the performance. For more details, call the Catawba College Theatre Box Office at 704-637-4481.