Charleston Alley Theatre play to address multiple themes

Alana Reinhardt, Contributing Writer


Mother-daughter relationships, morality and prostitution are just a few of the topics touched on in Charleston Alley Theatre’s production of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession.”

Director D Craig Banyai said he has been looking forward to directing this play for many years because of how it challenges the actors and makes the audience think.

“There’s a lot of themes that you can really sink your teeth into,” Banyai, who has been involved with the CAT for over a decade, said.

“Mrs. Warren’s Profession” was written by George Bernard Shaw and premiered in 1902.

The play focuses on how the relationship between Mrs. Kitty Warren and her daughter Vivie changes after Vivie learns that her mother is a former prostitute and now owns a series of brothels.

“Many people consider this a feminist piece. This consideration alone implies an evaluation of political ideologies and social norms, but there are also themes in this play that look closely at age and family,” Banyai said.

Banyai added that the show is relatable to a modern audience, because the lines in the show are things people hear in every household between parents and children.

The show has a six-person cast, two assistant directors and one head director.

Although the cast is small, Banyai said six is just the right size to let characterization shine and have every actor present in every act.

Two of those six cast members are James Tague and Tabitha Sill, both current Eastern students. Another member is Jason Tague, an EIU alumnus.

Another Eastern student involved with the show is Assistant Director Alyssa Lynn Hilbert.

Hilbert said she has learned a lot from her experience at the CAT.

“This really gives me an opportunity to work with people completely different from me and to take a lot away from this experience,” Hilbert said.

Hilbert said while she does not relate to every character, she does enjoy seeing the humanizing aspects of the roles and how relatable the play is.

Performances at the Charleston Alley Theatre will be on 7 p.m. Oct. 26-28 and 2 p.m. Oct. 29.

Other performances will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 2-4 and 2 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Lone Elm Room of the Mattoon train station.

Tickets are $10 each and available at the door. Seating is general admission. For reservations, people can call 217-345-2287.

Alana Reinhardt can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].