(CINCINNATI, November 3, 2016) – Xavier University follows up its ambitious season openers THE MUSIC MAN and SLUT SHAMING with Jim Leonard Jr.’s THE DIVINERS¸ directed by director of theatre Stephen Skiles. Performances will take place in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre from November 11th-19th.
THE DIVINERS is the story of the unlikely friendship between a disenchanted preacher and a mentally challenged young man during the throes of the Great Depression. As the good people of the Indiana town of Zion search for guidance of their own, preacher CC Showers is able to find his own blessing and redemption in the vulnerability and trust of Buddy Layman. Buddy’s sister, Jennie Mae, also finds courage during her coming-of-age as she watches their connection unfold. Senior Alex Roberts (Jennie Mae), states “THE DIVINERS is a beautiful story about relationships, faith, and love; all heartwarming things that anyone can relate to. It’s been an honor to work on a piece of theatre that has such depth.” Sophomore Cassie Delicath (Goldie Short) adds, “This show is in one word, heartwarming. The way the town sees Buddy as their blessing and the nurturing way CC cares for the boy, captures a sense of community and togetherness that is unique. I cannot imagine an audience member walking out of the theater without being truly touched by the show. Being a part of the cast is an incredible experience.” THE DIVINERS weaves an intricate drama of heartbreak and hope, hardship and tenacity. As New York Magazine stated, “”The Diviners…. renders the humor and horror of the hinterlands with staggering accuracy…. Compelling.”
The Cast of THE DIVINERS include freshman Aaron Robinson as CC Showers, sophomore Micah Price as Buddy Layman, senior Alex Roberts as Jennie Mae Layman, sophomore Aiden Dalton as Ferris Layman, freshman Keith Holland as Basil, senior Katie Mitchell as Luella, sophomore Nora Weisz as Norma Henshaw, sophomore Cassie Delicath as Goldie, sophomore Evelyn Garrett as Darlene Henshaw, junior Henry Eden as Dewey, and senior Michael Thompson as Melvin.
Stephen Skiles is directing his first show of the 2016-17 season with THE DIVINERS, and it is a production that is especially meaningful to him. “I first saw a production of THE DIVINERS when I was an undergraduate student at Hanover College, where the show originated,” says Skiles. “It is a beautiful play that has always stuck with me. It reminds me to be in wonder of the world and of the incredible people around me, and to recognize the blessings that we all have by being together. It is a blessing for me each night to get to be with this dynamic and talented group of students. I can’t wait for an audience to see their work.” Following up THE MUSIC MAN with such a comparatively intimate and sometimes stark piece, Skiles wanted to emphasize the themes of community that are present within them both. Skiles has been the director of theatre at Xavier since 2012. He will next be directing Annie Baker’s THE ALIENS this April.
Other members of the creative staff include Joe Leonard (Technical Director and Set Designer), Joe Beumer (Light Designer), and Maggie Dick (Costume Designer). Properties design and sound design were both provided by Stephen Skiles. THE DIVINERS is stage managed by freshman Emi Suarez, and assistant direction is provided by junior Sara Rigenbach and freshman Lily Dennstaedt.
Tickets for THE DIVINERS are available now through the Xavier University Box Office. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students and Xavier staff and faculty. Tickets can be purchased online at www.xavier.edu/theatretickets, over the phone at 513-745-3939, or at the box office in the Gallagher Student Center at Xavier University. For more information about Xavier Theatre’s upcoming productions, visit http://www.xavier.edu/theatre-department/2016-2017.cfm.