Fairmont State’s Department of Humanities and Masquers Presents Us and Them

  On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Department of Humanities and Masquers, Fairmont State’s student theatre organization, presented a short play about divisions written by David Campton. There were two different performances through Wallman Hall Theatre, where admission was free. There was a 12:30 pm performance, as well as a 7:30 pm performance, in which both were followed with a WebEx conversation with guest, Trey Kay. Trey Kay is a host of the Us and Them podcast that is produced by WV Public Broadcasting. The program ran for about 60 minutes with no intermissions. 

      The following Wednesday, March 23rd, the cast performed at Whitehall and Blackshear Elementary. A quote from Director Francene Kirk stated, “The children were a wonderful audience. They laughed. We had a question session after the show. They wanted to know things like how long we had rehearsed. It was fun.” On Thursday, March 24th, they wrapped up their last performances at Monongah Elementary and North Marion High. 

      Director Francene Kirk, Technical Director and Lighting Designer Troy Snyder, Stage Manager Catherine Gray, and House Manager Dr. John O’Connor all contributed tremendously to bring together the production of Us and Them. Of course, we cannot forget about the cast, because without them, there would also be no production. The cast included: 

  • Abbagale Richards (Recorder) 
  • Rosemary Velazquez 
  • Jonathan Richards 
  • Madelyn Moore 
  • Alexia Poling 
  • Abby Peckens 
  • Hannah Hudson 
  • Richard Williams (Spokesperson A) 
  • Franky Satterfield (Spokesperson B) 

     There are also a few other jobs and people who helped make this production come to life, such as: students in THEA-1120 Theatre Appreciation class who did Costume Design, Zachary Wellman who was the Sound Operator, Justin Z. Allan and Miguel Fugueroa assisted in Scene Shop, Dylan Powers designed the Posters, Leigh Anne Rile and students in THEA-3350 help with Educational Outreach, and the Masquers were ushers at the performances. 

      The one-act drama, Us and Them, is about two groups of wanderers looking for a place to settle. They happen to pick the same space but agree to share as long as each group stays on their own side of the fence that eventually becomes a wall. Time passes and each group grows suspicion of the other, which leads to the wall being knocked down and a fighting scene takes place. Neither side had planned on harming the other until their thoughts and suspicions got the best of them. The performance ended with both groups leaving and venturing off to find their own new space, despite how nice the land they originally settled for was. While all of this was going on, the Recorder (Abbagale Richards), was used as a comedic character that also guided the audience through the story of Us and Them.

      After both public performances, radio journalist, Trey Kay, joined the audience through WebEx to discuss the production and how it relates to his podcast “Us & Them.” In his podcast, he co-produces with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, to tell stories from all sides of the Culture Wars. In 2009, he produced a radio documentary, The Great Textbook War, in which an event started a violent protest over public school textbooks. In the story, they wrote, “School buildings were hit by dynamite and Molotov cocktails, buses were riddled with bullets, journalists were beaten, and surrounding coal mines were shut down by protesting miners.” 

Upcoming Productions 

Shrek, The Musical, Jr. 

May 12th-15th 

Matilda, The Musical 

June 17th-19th and 23rd-26th 

To stay up to date on future ETAs and Dates, they can be found on Facebook at Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts.