George Orwell’s book “1984” was published 64 years ago this year, and the timely revelations of the scope of the United States’ domestic surveillance through a former intelligence contractor turned leaker was boosting sales on the anniversary, according to The New Yorker magazine.
The novel, set in a weather-lousy London, follows Winston, who is unwittingly courting rebellion against the Thought Police and Big Brother, which most people have just accepted as always watching.
The Wood River High School Drama Department is reviving the story on stage this week, starting tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 16, and ending with a matinee on Saturday, Oct. 19.
The show features crew and cast that includes: Hayden Mann, Caroline Scarbrough, Drake Arial, Wyatt Caccia, Taylor Lenane, Sadera Shultz, Chase Hutchinson, Logan Scarbrough, Mackenzie Ellison, Riley Schmidt, Anna Koleno, Mike Glenn, Jamey Reynolds, Cathy Reinheimer, Traci Otto, Jason Black, Allie Jones, Michael Moffet, Tiffany Parrish, Nancy Harakay, Hilarie Neely and Tenny Schwartz, as well as the Theatre Appreciation, Acting Workshop and Performing Arts classes.
Tickets are available at the door for $3 for middle-school students, $5 for high-school students and $8 for adults. The doors open 30 minutes prior to the show each night.
The shows will be held at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Center in Hailey Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 1 p.m.
This production of the adaptation by Robert Owens, Wilton E. Hall Jr. and William A. Miles Jr. is produced by special arrangement with the Dramatic Publishing Co. of Woodstock, Ill.
Play director Karl Nordstrom, the head of the Drama Department, often pushes his students beyond their comfort zone to pithy returns.
“I originally chose to produce this play for its relevancy in today’s world of increased privacy issues, bigger government control, and the rapidly changing world of social media,” he said. “As we rehearsed, I found this story to be a relevant tale in any time. It is more a story about how humans can and do lose his or her humanity in the face of constant oppression. I found it to be a study of the human spirit and how it reacts to limited or no freedom.”
Nordstrom said “1984” is much more powerful than a “story of us vs. them, citizens vs. government, or party vs. party.”
“I hope if the community comes out to share this experience with us, they will be pleased with the focus of the human element we have worked so hard to achieve,” he said.
‘1984’ in Hailey
The play runs today, Oct. 16, and Thursday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 1 p.m. at the Wood River High School Center for the Performing Arts in Hailey’s Community Campus. Tickets are available at the door: $8 for adults, $5 for high-schoolers and $3 for middle-schoolers.