Theatre department adapts political fiction classic

“1984” by George Orwell, a novel written 40 years before its time, will be depicted in a play with the collaboration efforts of the Theater Arts and Radio, Television and Film departments.

Orwell wrote this novel in 1949 with the intention of what he thought the year 1984 would look like. The production is sure to be “a controversial piece with a lot of depth to it,” said student Assistant Director Michael Lee. “1984” tackles the way the government and other people have the capacity to control what we think, something many will agree is “sadly relevant today” which is why the department decided to do this play, said Technical Director and Set Designer Martin Flynn, also a theater arts professor.

Individuality is banned. Its ideas have become our ideas, and Orwell’s fiction is often said to be our reality. The definitive book of the 20th century is reexamined in a radical new adaptation exploring why Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant as ever.

The audience can expect to “go through the entire emotional loop throughout the play, you’re going to feel happiness, sadness, you’re going to feel it all throughout the play,” Lee said.

“Our hope is that everything you feel resonates” and has a lasting effect on people, he added.

This production is different than other plays produced at Cosumnes River College.

“A lot of the plays we do are cheery,” said Lee. “Our goal is to bring people in and send them out with a smile.”  

Lee isn’t sure this particular play will have the same effect on the audience. This play will certainly leave them awakened and more aware of today’s political operations, evoke some not so cheerful emotions, get people thinking and hopefully spark conversations about the future, Lee said.

The production is led by Director and Department Chair of the Theater Arts department, Cheri Fortin. This is a different experience for the students, but will capture the range and talent of the cast involved. 

The play opens at the Black Box Theater on March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and will run until March 17.