"The Threepenny Opera" runs through March 5

Tonya Richardson (left) and Joshua Lee Pruss (right) rehearse a scene from  “The Threepenny Opera.” The performance continues through March 5 at Bud Walton Theatre each night at 7:30 p.m.

Southern Theatre is presenting “The Threepenny Opera” in the Bud Walton Theatre March 1-5 at 7:30 p.m. nightly. 

The play is made up of several musical numbers, which were accompanied by a 10-person student orchestra. Some more well known numbers from this opera are “Pirate Jenny” and “How to Survive.”

Opening night on Tuesday went well according to Dr. Lile, chair of the theatre department at Missouri Southern, is co-directing alongside Ann Lile 

“We are very pleased. Things went as planned,” said Dr. Lile.

“I feel like the whole cast had a great performance,” says Forrest Bunter who plays one of the main characters, a criminal named Macheath. “I’m so thankful for those coming out to support the theater and music departments in providing these types of opportunities for the campus and the community.”

 “The main characters are a corrupt businessman, a corrupt police officer, and the worst criminal in London. They are not meant to be likable characters the audience gets emotionally attached to,” says Lile. 

“This play is in a style called epic theatre,” says Lile. “The point is to alienate the audience, always reminding them they’re in the play, in a way that allows them to focus on the political messages in the play.” “The Threepenny Opera” comments on themes including corruption, poverty, and crime as a means of survival.  

Lile explains that the playwright Bertolt Brecht, “wanted the audience to observe the play, almost like a scientist.”

“The play is very specifically set in the time of Queen Victoria’s coronation,” Lile explains that steampunk details were used to open up when the play takes place and show how the themes of corruption and poverty are relevant in more than just the Victorian time period.

Sabrina Johnson,  junior political science major, says “I liked how the unexpected qualities played with the audience. I enjoyed seeing steampunk details in the costumes and props.”

Adam Troy, freshman computer information systems major, says, “I got a kick out of seeing something unique like this in Joplin. I really liked the costume design details. This is the most unique play I have ever seen.”

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