The University at Buffalo Department of Theatre & Dance presents "Forgiving John Lennon" at 7:30 p.m. from Feb. 27 through March 2, and at 2 p.m. on March 3, in the Black Box Theatre, located at the Center for the Arts, North Campus.
"Forgiving John Lennon," by William Missouri Downs and directed by Professor Stephen McKinley Henderson, is best described as a serious comedy written as an homage to Somali-Dutch feminist activist and writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali who, in 2005, Time Magazine named among the Most Influential People in the World. It exposes how comic our attempts at tolerance and inclusion can often appear to those whose very lives depend on these issues.
The play is about two progressive professors named Joseph and Katie who teach at a small liberal arts college. The president of the college has mandated that all the professors do more to promote cultural diversity. It soon becomes a competition between rival departments to see which can invite to campus the most diverse artist or speaker. Joseph (a professor of Tibetan literature) and his wife, Katie (a professor of pottery art), are about to stage a coup. Their guest artist is a female African poet from Somalia. When she arrives, Joseph and Katie go out of their way to show her that they are open-minded about all cultures. Soon, Joseph and Katie's progressive agenda is called into question. Are they really understanding, progressive thinkers or academic conformists who are willing to do anything to win tenure? They find that the road to a world where we can "imagine" no countries and "nothing to kill or die for" won't be as easy as they thought.
The cast of "Forgiving John Lennon" includes Ashley Wurtz, Catherine Espinal, Mike Dempsey and Giancarlo Gioia.
Tickets for "Forgiving John Lennon" are $20 general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the Center Box Office (weekdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and at tickets.com. To charge tickets, call 1-888-223-6000. For more information, call 716-645-2787 or visit www.ubcfa.org.