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ESU Theatre Presents Dark Comedy ‘God of Carnage'

Emporia State University Theatre presents Yasmina Reza’s dark comedy “God of Carnage” translated by Christopher Hampton for four performances Dec. 1 through 4 in the Ronald Q. Frederickson Black Box Theatre in Roosevelt Hall. Performances are Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.

A playground altercation between 11-year-old boys brings two sets of Brooklyn parents together for a meeting to resolve the conflict. The veneer of diplomacy evaporates, cocktails flow and the gloves come off. Called “a comedy of manners… minus the manners,” “God of Carnage” won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play. This gritty one-act deals with mature themes and is not for children.

“From the moment I saw the Ronald Q. Frederickson Theatre during my job interview in 2019, I have been wanting to direct a show in that black-box space,” said Jim Harris, the production’s director. “I am very excited to have that opportunity with ‘God of Carnage.’ Having the audience so close to the actors creates an intimate atmosphere and connection that cannot be matched in a large space. This show is perfectly suited for such a venue and the audience will feel that dynamic.

“Dark comedy is also one of my favorite genres. I love that feeling of laughing at something, only to think to myself that I really shouldn’t be laughing at all,” Harris added.

Visit for reservations or additional information or call the box office at (620) 341-5256 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays with any questions. The show runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are also available at the Frederickson Theatre box office one hour before the show.

The ensemble cast is comprised of Eddie Lee (Phoenix, Arizona), Kara Mitchell (Neodesha), Rachel Shaffer (Iola) and Lewis Trotter (Abilene).

The faculty production team includes Jim Harris (Director), Nic Wilson (Costume Design), Pete Rydberg (Producer), and Amanda Dura (Costume Shop Manager & Makeup Design).

The student production team includes Stage Manager Ashley Hill (Olathe), Technical Director/Scene Shop Manager and Lighting Designer Mason Nicks (Leavenworth), Abby Tyler (Lawrence), Scenic Designer Mike Cooprider (Hutchinson), and Props Coordinator Nicholas Thomas (Emporia).

About Emporia State Theatre

Emporia State University has one of the oldest and strongest theatre programs in the country, with well over 1,000 graduates. Many are working across the country in professional and academic theatre. At ESU, students can earn a BFA or BA in theatre, or gain certification to become a secondary teacher in the BSE program in speech and theatre. We are proud to be a part of the outstanding department of Communication and Theatre. ESU Theatre is an active participant of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.