‘The Elephant Man’ performances begin Friday

Ross played by Sam Arteaga looms over the Elephant Man, John Merrick played by Nick Saxton.

Robyn Ehrlich, News Writer

Next weekend the Theater Department is bringing a Broadway classic to the auditorium stage. This year EHS presents “The Elephant Man” as our fall production.

The Tony Award winning play follows the life of John Merrick, an English man of the Victorian era who is known for the extreme deformity of his body, namely his face. Besides the fact that this production has always been an interest of Ms. Owzarek’s, who is once again back in the director’s chair, the recent revival has caught her attention.

“There’s a revival of it in New York,” Owzarek explains, “It’s starring Bradley Cooper, who is a pretty big movie star right now.” This goes to show that even big Hollywood stars can face such challenging roles.

Though based on a true story, the author has taken some artistic liberty in the actual writing. “Supposedly,” Owzarek tells. “His mother was kicked by an elephant when she was carrying him. According to the story that is why he was so disfigured.” Today, however, there was never a real diagnosis as to why he looked and moved in the way that he did. After his death, Merrick donated his skeleton to science.

The only way he could make a living back then was by participating in the, then legal, freakshows. He was horribly abused and treated like an animal. He spent approximately eight years working in these freak shows before being saved by a doctor and taken to the London Hospital. Upon living in this hospital, the doctors realized that he was highly intelligent as opposed to what his previous colleagues thought.

The play tells of his journey from the freak shows he took part in, to the meeting of famous actors and actresses who helped him to turn his life around before his death at the young age of 28.

The Elephant Man debuts at Eagan High School on Wednesday, October 8th at 3:30 p.m., for a senior citizen preview. After that, the play is officially open for all to see on Friday, October 10th at 7:30 p.m. and for two showings on Saturday, October 11th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. With Owzarek taking the reins once again, this play is sure to be a hit.