Samford University’s School of the Arts will present “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” in Harrison Theatre from March 22-25.
Sophomore musical theatre major Madison Merkel is set to star in the production. Merkel has acted in other productions such as “Eleemosynary,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “How I Became a Pirate” and “Curious Savage.” The character of Grusha in this most recent production, said Merkel, is her most challenging performance to date.
“Playing Grusha has stretched me and made me more sympathetic since her life has been full of traumatic situations and horrible circumstances including the war, abuse, sexual assault and loss of her love,” Merkel said. “I am honored to portray her story.”
The character of Grusha is a true representation of life for women in tumultuous regions similar to the play’s setting among the Caucasus Mountains in the country of Georgia. Merkel is the lead with an ensemble-driven cast with 12 cast members playing 66 supporting roles.
In preparation for rehearsals, the cast learned about refugee crises all around the world
to gain a better understanding of how it affects their characters.
Merkel said she heavily encourages everyone to see the production. She put emphasis on the importance of awareness of refugee crises.
“I hope ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ helps bring awareness to the audience about the modern-day refugee crisis and to raise compassion for those impoverished in war-ravaged countries,” Merkel said.
In the play, revolution is ignited as the government falls and civil war rages. Grusha is a servant girl in the household of the now former governor of Georgia and she saves the governor’s child. The play follows the life of Grusha and the child five years amidst the civil war as she tries to provide security for them while giving up her freedom.
Tickets are now available online at tickets.samford.edu.
Clare Weigel, Features Writer