Our Country’s Good to be staged at Lawrence University

The Lawrence University Theatre Arts Department will stage Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker at 8:00 p.m. May 11-13 and at 3:00 p.m. May 14 in Stansbury Theatre, located in the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton.

Late in the 1780s the first fleet of British prison ships, under the command of Arthur Phillip, arrived at Botany Bay, in New South Wales, Australia, and soon settled up the coast at Port Jackson, the site of current-day Sydney. Many of the prisoners had been convicted of minor theft and many of their wardens were military men who fought and lost against the American colonies.

Our Country’s Good begins at the end of the voyage. It traces one of the more remarkable and unusual events of the new settlement, the staging of George Farquhar’s play, The Recruiting Officer, using an all-convict cast. The decision to stage the play is met with opposition and ridicule from various sides, but ends up profoundly changing the lives of all those involved. In acting in Farquhar’s play, the convicts gain a sense of self-worth and community, and discover the redemptive power of art.

Timothy X. Troy, associate professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, directs this production.

Tickets for Our Country’s Good are $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students. Tickets can be purchased at the Lawrence University Box Office, located in the Music-Drama Center, or by phone at 920-832-6749.