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Date Posted: February 20, 2023 Author: Randon Coffey

Cottey College Theatre presents Lee Blessing’s award-winning play, Eleemosynary, Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage at the Wild Center for the Arts on the Cottey College campus in Nevada.  The production is directed by speech and theatre faculty member Peter Carver.  Tickets are available at the door and are $5.00 for general admission.  Cottey College students, faculty, and staff receive free tickets.  Eleemosynary contains mature content and is not suitable for young children.

Set in 1985, Eleemosynary contrasts the lives of three generations of brilliant women who, after confronting the effects of adverse childhood experiences, struggle to connect with one another.  Dorothea, a seventy-five-year-old self-described eccentric, cannot repair her relationship with her alienated, middle-aged daughter Artie.  Artie, a researcher, abandons her family and leaves her daughter Echo for Dorothea to raise.  Over the course of the play, Echo works to create a relationship with her mother and bring them all together as a family. After Dorothea suffers a stroke, Artie must either reconcile with Echo or once again choose flight. Blessing’s beautiful play confronts the human need for connection and forgiveness and illustrates how kindness can cut through toxic stress when a family reaches its breaking point.

Director Peter Carver says of the play, “The characters in Eleemosynary are well-developed and three-dimensional.  Their objectives are so urgent they are forced to break through the fourth wall to confront the audience directly.  The audience will be moved by gorgeous design, beautiful language, and rich pathos.”  Since moving from Baltimore to Nevada in 2021, Carver, an assistant professor of speech and theatre, has directed The Wolves for Cottey Theatre and performed in CCPA productions of Einstein and the Polar Bear and Suite Surrender at the Fox Playhouse in Nevada, Missouri.

For Cottey’s production of Eleemosynary, students Abby Kohout of Elk River, Minnesota will play Echo, Klair Soukup of Amarillo, Texas will play her mother Artie, and Jasmine Cooper of nearby Butler, Missouri will portray the family matriarch, Dorothea.  Cottey Theatre professor and Fine Arts Division chair Laura Chaney designed the scenery, student Kordelia Taylor designed costumes, and student Mariah Crutchfield designed lights.  E. Blaha is the stage manager.

This production is a participating entry in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).  The aims of this national theatre education program are to identify and promote quality in college-level theatre production.  To this end, each production entered is eligible for a response from a regional KCACTF representative, and selected students and faculty are invited to participate in KCACTF programs involving scholarships, internships, grants, and awards for actors, directors, dramaturgs, designers, playwrights, stage managers, and critics at both the regional and national level.  For more information, contact Peter Carver, Assistant Professor of Speech and Theatre: or 417-667-8181, x2241.  Eleemosynary is produced through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, New York.

Randon Coffey

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Randon Coffey