Bethany College Theatre Collecting Gifts for Families in Need

BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College’s theatre department is collecting Christmas gifts and wrapping paper for needy children in the Ohio Valley. The College is asking attendees of the play “Pilgrims” to bring a present that will go to Laughlin Memorial Chapel’s Christmas program, which provides gifts to 150 children and their families.

The comedy and fantasy “Pilgrims” will be performed in Wailes Theatre of Steinman Hall on the College campus Oct. 24 through 26 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. Admission is accepted through a monetary donation, and a collection of gifts and wrapping paper will be held as well.

The gifts and wrapping paper will go to Laughlin Memorial Chapel of Wheeling, which holds an annual Christmas party that provides children in the program with Christmas gifts. The program’s 150 members include children from age five to high school-age. Gifts for adults are also needed, as children in the program will be able to pick out Christmas presents to give to their parents.

Laughlin Memorial provides various programs for children and their families, including meal services and afterschool programs. The church’s goal is to improve the quality of life in the area by providing a safe haven for children, which empowers them to make good life choice and have academic success. The church’s service area now encompasses the majority of the greater Wheeling area.

Set in the future, “Pilgrims” takes place during a time in which marriage has been forbidden, after it was discovered to cause breakdowns, insanity and object throwing. Instead, people renew their “coupling vows” every seven years, with a chance to call it quits through an escape clause.

Celia (Megan Lindley, Bentleyville, Pa.) is preparing to choose her coupling partner, with hopes it will be Mike (Rich Oliver, Chester, W.Va.). However, after studying ancient poetry, Mike has a different plan: He wants to marry Celia. He’s hoping to convince her to tie the knot – a big commitment, since it means they must leave the city and live in the wilderness. Persuading Celia is even more complicated with Drake (David Camacho, Corpus Christi, Texas) trying to sweep her off her feet as well.

The cast also includes Jordan Jones (Baltimore, Md.) as the female co-worker and makeup designer and John Vucich (Germany) as the male co-worker.

The director is Luke Hardt - Associate Professor of Theatre, Director of the Bethany College Theatre and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Thelma Collins (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is the assistant director.

The crew includes Ashlee Bex (Martins Ferry, Ohio), stage manager; Octavia Holton (Chicago, Ill.), box office and house manager; Alanna Hunter-Crump (Denver, Colo.), props and set construction; and Jayson Canter (Westerville, Ohio), costume designer and light board operator.

Technical Support includes Kiersten Conwell (Houston, Pa.), Aidan  Garvey (Wellsburg, W.Va.), Kvanna “Kiki” Diaz (Weirton, W.Va.), and  Darrell “DJ” Lesane (Lumberton, N.C.).

For more information on the play and tickets, call 304-829-7124.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.