Arts Commission produces new play for Middle and High schools
In 2017, following the community’s awareness of the rising effect of the opioid crisis on our children, the Arts Commission recognized that art is a powerful tool which can increase awareness and open discussion around specific needs. After many hours spent
researching the elements of the issue, the Arts Commission asked local award winning playwright, Liz Orndorff, to write a play directed toward middle and high school age children.
The result of the partnership was “The Tipping Point,” a 45 minute play ,which was offered to all middle and high school classes from Danville Independent and Boyle County Schools. The theme of the play is confronting the point at which decisions are made, and the best choices to make about who is truly a positive influence. In January 2018, 1300 students, faculty and the general public attended the free performances. The program was financially sponsored by the Agency for Substance Abuse Policy and the Arts Commission. It was staged with the support of the Danville Independent Schools through the use of Gravely Hall, for rehearsals and performances and the donation of technical staff.
Tough issues are solved through the combined and continued efforts of many stake-holders. With that in mind and the commitment to that mission, the Arts Commission committed the play program for 2019. The Board turned again to Liz Orndorff with the added charge to write a musical which would engage and inspire the audiences. Again, ASAP is providing some financial support.
The result of Orndorff’s creativity is “The Convergence of Desire.” The work is a 45 minute musical which tells the story of six individuals who seek to identify, accept and share their passions and gifts. As each shares his or her story, the others join in to support and encourage the pursuit of the dreams of each. The musical score will leave you with a smile on your face.
You learn that each person may follow different, perhaps unconventional, paths to success and that all are valuable in building a healthy community.
The characters include two talented and gifted young men, who chose to go different academic directions following their high school years, frequently against the wishes of some around them. A bi-lingual high school student of Hispanic heritage struggles within herself to accept that tradition, not recognizing the gift it actually is, until her best friend and the others guide her. Another young man demonstrates an unusual gift through which he educates those around him about life.
Weaving all the stories together is the music. Mike Archer combines his playing and composing skills to convey his own view point, as well as encouraging the other characters to speak up and to stand up.
“The Convergence of Desire” will be performed Feb. 5 – Feb. 8 in Gravely Hall at Danville High School during the school day for students in the Danville and Boyle systems. A special performance will be at Burgin Independent on Feb. 6 for all middle and high school students and staff there.
The general public is invited to an open performance on Feb.7 at 7 p.m. at Danville High School. Following all performances there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the cast and other professionals in the field of substance abuse prevention. All performances are free; donations are accepted at the public performance to support the project.