UNA Theatre To Stage 'Master Harold And The Boys' Feb. 24-26

Jan. 31, 2011


FLORENCE, Ala. – Racism, bigotry and its effects on people are a few of the standout themes in the upcoming play “Master Harold and the Boys,” which the University of North Alabama theatre program will perform Feb. 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. in Norton Auditorium.

Set in 1950 in South Africa during the apartheid period, a 17-year-old boy named Hally lives with an alcoholic, disabled father and spends much of his free time with two black waiters who work for his parents’ upscale restaurant. After Hally learns his father is returning home after being hospitalized, he releases his anger and frustration on the waiters.

Directed by professor Charlton James, the Athol Fugard play demonstrates how racist and bigoted behaviors can influence others, but also sheds light on themes of hope and progress. The play won the 1982 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play and was nominated for a 1982 Tony Award.

“This play really promotes you to think of a way to make the world a better place,” James said. “It is enlightening to see how a 17-year-old boy in South Africa during institutionalized racism is very similar to a boy in 1950 in Mississippi. Even though they are thousands of miles across the planet from each other, they are still very similar and universal.”

UNA student and actor Spencer Cantrell, who will portray the character Hally, has joined the other cast and production members in working up to 20 hours every week in preparation for the play.

“Theatre is meant to be a service to the community and to educate and promote people to think,” he said. “This is one of those plays as it gives you insight into a different period of time.”

Admission to “Master Harold and the Boys” will be $5 for students, faculty and staff and $10 for the general public. Seating will be limited.


Cast

Michael Baldwin, of Birmingham – Sam

Kelvin Jones, of Madison – Willie

Spencer Cantrell, of Alabaster – Hally


Production Company

Bryan Hall, of Tuscumbia – Stage manager

Adam St. John, of Florence – Assistant stage manager

Matt Bryant, of Gallant – Scene designer

Morgan Putman, of Florence – Costume designer

Lesley Harper, of Madison – Assistant director