Southern Utah University’s production of “Bulrusher” is set to begin performances on March 9.
“Bulrusher” by Eisa Davis follows the story of a young multiracial woman growing up in the small town of Boonville, California. The play uses distinct wording to establish the setting, as the residents of this town have their own language.
“There’s an opening prologue where the lead character spouts out this poem that sets the whole scene,” said Kolton Nielsen, the assistant director of “Bulrusher.” “It’s this mythical, beautiful poetry.”
In addition to the use of poetic language, each member of the cast is involved in the prologue, but not all of them are playing their assigned characters, adding to the surreal feeling of the play.
“It’s a small gated community that has their own culture and customs,” said Nielsen. “I think there are some parallels in the small town vibe from Cedar City and Boonville, but the people are very different.”
Identity plays an essential role throughout the play. While many of the residents of Boonville are white, the story revolves around people of color.
“It’s a unique story where the majority of the characters are non-white. I think it’s very important to see actors and stories about people that are different,” Nielsen said.
“Bulrusher” will perform in the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre on March 9, 13, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on March 11 at 2:00 p.m., running in repertory with Southern Utah University’s additional production, “Cloud 9.” Tickets are available online or at the Utah Shakespeare Festival box office an hour before the production begins. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for alumni and free for students and faculty with valid ID.
Story by: Gracie Butterfield
Photos courtesy of Kolton Nielsen