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C of I theatre presents ‘A Lie of the Mind’

The College of Idaho Theatre Department is pleased to announce its spring main stage production, the Sam Shepard drama 'A Lie of the Mind.' The play shows at 7:30 nightly April 17-19 and 23-26 inside Langroise Studio Theatre on the C of I campus in Caldwell, with a 2 p.m. closing matinee on April 27. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. C of I students receive free admission. For tickets and info, call the Langroise Box Office at (208) 459-5426.

A Lie of the Mind is a family drama set in the American West. The play tells the story of two families whose lives are forever altered by an incident of domestic violence during which one of the main characters, Beth, suffers brain damage. The storyline unfolds from there as the characters – including Beth’s husband, Jake – explore issues of family dysfunction, the nature of love and the meaning of life.

“We’ve always wanted to do a Shepard play,” said director Mike Hartwell, a C of I theatre professor. “On the surface, the story is about spousal abuse, but it’s much deeper than that. It’s about families and the extreme emotion Shepard creates for the characters in each scene. To me, the experience of how emotional and intense this show is really captures the essence of theatre.”

Hartwell, who also designed the show, directs a talented cast including students Briana Krebs, Jonathan Fine, Eli Nary, John Wicks, Haley Ganatos, Hailee Lenhart-Wees and Ellen Campbell alongside C of I theatre professor Joe Golden. Sean Dahlman is the musical director, with live music by Ashton Jenicek and C of I English professor Scott Knickerbocker. Deborah Penrod is the lighting director, Fred Loucks is the sound engineer, Breana Koch is the stage manager and Delpha Carver is the costume designer.

Ganatos, who plays Jake’s sister, Sally, said the cast has enjoyed delving into the play’s dark themes.

“It takes a lot of work to capture all of the layers and the emotion of this play,” Ganatos said. “Ultimately, it’s a look at some of the darker and more uncomfortable parts of human nature; the things that nobody likes to talk about but that everyone knows are there. But [Hartwell] puts so much soul into his work and is such an amazing director, he still makes it fun, even with such a serious storyline.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 12 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit