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World Premiere of Darkness Flows Thicker than Blood at the Gracie Black Box Theatre

Published on: April 22, 2021

The cast outside of The Gracie Theater

BANGOR, MAINE – April 22, 2021 – Husson University Theatre (HUT), the educational institution’s official student theatre club, will be performing “Darkness Flows Thicker than Blood,” an original work written by budding playwright and Husson junior, Sommer Thompson.

“The play explores how actions have consequences, coming of age, and the dehumanization that takes place when an individual is abused,” said Jeri Misler, managing director of the Gracie Theatre. “Sommer is an important new voice. Working with HUT, she is bringing her first original play to life here at Husson University. We hope our campus community will support this performance and this young promising playwright as she embarks on a successful career in entertainment production.” 

“Darkness Flows Thicker than Blood” is a four-character play set on the grounds of a military academy in Hamburg, Germany during the 1940s. Brendan Reuter, a harsh, abusive man, is the Commandant of the school. An affair with a woman on the kitchen staff at the academy results in the birth of an illegitimate son, Arschloch. As Arschloch grows, his desire to make his father proud of him increases. Reuter’s unresolved feelings for the boy’s mother leads to a vengeful scheme by Reuter’s wife to eliminate her. Eventually, Reuter takes his frustration out on his son, who in turn, seeks deadly revenge.

“This play emphasizes the golden rule, with a bit of a dark twist. The message is ‘treat others how you would like to be treated, or you will suffer the consequences,’” said Thompson.

Husson University Theatre (HUT) is a campus organization where students direct, perform and design two productions per year. Rehearsals started earlier in the semester. “Darkness Flows Thicker than Blood” is directed by Thompson, with stage management provided by sophomore Melanie Wright and assistant stage management by senior Natalie Kunzinger. Husson junior, Ben Laffin is the technical director. 

Thompson’s play was written as a final project for an Introduction to Theatre class. Later, it was expanded to a full-fledged production at the encouragement of class instructor Ken Stack.

The cast includes Husson senior, Sean Bechtel as Brendan Reuter and Kylan Bowden as Arschloch, his son. Senior Lacey Macdonald plays Arschloch’s mother and Lillian Mode, a junior, plays the role of Marielle Reuter.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the audience for this live performance will be limited to Husson students, faculty and staff. Members of the public cannot attend.

There will be three performances in the Gracie’s Black Box Theatre, located above the Gracie’s main stage. On Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24, there will be performances at 7 p.m. On Sunday, April 25, there will be a 2 p.m. matinee performance. Seating is limited in order to provide for ample physical distancing. All members of the audience will be required to wear masks that prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the show. 

Tickets are free for students and $5 for the Husson faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis. They can only be purchased at the door, with cash, an hour prior to the performance. 

For more information about the upcoming production of “Darkness Flows Thicker than Blood,” please contact Jeri Misler at the Gracie Theatre box office at 207-941-7888. Information is also available at GracieTheatre.com.

Husson University Theatre (HUT) is an entirely student-run organization. It allows students to act as directors, designers, and performers in productions of their own choosing. Husson students are responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations. This includes all of the production roles from acting on stage, to crew roles backstage, and box office management.

Previous Husson University Theatre (HUT) student productions have included John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, Diana Son’s Stop Kiss, Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, Tribes by Nina Raine, The Guys by Anne Nelson and The Worker by Walter Wykes.

Completed in October of 2009, The Gracie is Husson University's center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful 500-seat theatre is considered one of Maine’s premier performance venues. In addition, The Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting, and electronics.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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