Topic: Speakers

December 8, 2017

Sursa Hall stage

Indiana Public Radio is presenting an original radio play “A Christmas Truce,” written by playwriting professor Tom Horan, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, at Sursa Performance Hall on Ball State University’s campus.

Horan’s drama that tells the story of a Christmas Day ceasefire during World War I.

“While writing this story I found it echoed something I think many of us are feeling these days,” he said. “I am constantly pulled between wanting to know what is happening in the world and wanting to distract myself with something else. In many ways, I hope this play helps people reconcile that tension. We can get lost in this compelling tale, and we can use it to reflect on what is going on today.”

Those who can’t make it to Sursa Hall can listen live at 8 p.m. via Indiana Public Radio. Jennifer Blackmer, director of the play, professor of theatre and associate provost for entrepreneurial learning at Ball State, said the audience, both in Sursa and on the radio, is in for a treat.

“If an audience member chooses to join us in the live studio audience, they won’t see any sets or costumes, just some wonderful actors, musicians, microphones and a Foley sound effects artist,” Blackmer said. “The ‘real’ event happens in the ears and imaginations of the listeners, which makes for a fascinating experience. For those listening at home, they have the opportunity to experience an original story the way our families did in previous decades, before the internet, before television. This can be a truly refreshing experience.”

Blackmer has directed three previous IPR radio dramas: “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Gift of the Magi” and “A Christmas Carol.” Michael Elliott, assistant professor of musical theatre and dance, is the musical director, and music will be performed by Ball State University students.

“I’ve always loved the holidays,” Blackmer said, “and I’m a fan of Christmas stories in general because they’re often about overcoming obstacles to achieve a change for the betterment of humanity. This particular story, about a spontaneous truce during World War I, has always held special interest for me because I’m really intrigued by stories of human beings in extreme conditions — in this case war — and what good they can be capable of, in spite of these circumstances.”

Tickets for “A Christmas Truce” can be purchased from the Emens Box Office for $5 for Ball State students and youth, and $10 for adults. Call Emens Box Office at 765-285-1539 for tickets or visit the box office 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.