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School of Theatre and Dance presents Onassis Prize winner Harvest

The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance will present Manjula Padmanabhan’s Harvest, opening Friday, April 14. Performances will be held in the Center for the Performing Arts and will run through April 22.

This futuristic Indian script won the 1997 Onassis Prize for the best new international play. The story focuses on organ-selling and critiques the exploitation of the Third World. Harvest introduces us to Om Prakash, a poor man who agrees to sell his organs through a harvesting company to someone in the First World for a small fortune. The company and the organ recipient invade Om’s life, controlling him and his family because of their obsessive need to maintain his health. Through technology, the recipient is able to look in on Om and his family, making sure they are following orders.

Playwright Manjula Padmanabhan was in residence at Illinois State University from March 20–24. She attended rehearsals and visited classes to discuss her work on Harvest and other writings. The Illinois State production sets the play in Chicago, which the playwright was delighted to see.

The director of the play, David Webber, said, “It has been a creative thrill to tell this story. I have enjoyed collaborating with the talented M.F.A. design students and performance majors at ISU to create a unique theatrical experience while bringing about the themes of escapism versus freedom, greed, and class. This story highlights the consequences of a choice. I am hoping for a younger generation to support the show and come out to see live theater. If you are a fan of the television show Black Mirror or the recent film Get Out, I hope you come out and enjoy what the imaginative possibility of theater allows.”

Harvest runs April 14 at 7:30 p.m., April 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and April 18–22 at 7:30 p.m. All performances take place at the Center for the Performing Arts Theater.

For tickets or information, contact the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts, open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at (309) 438-2535, or purchase tickets online by visiting Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Performance parking is available for free in the School Street Parking Deck in spots 250 and above, 400 West Beaufort St., Normal.