By Maren Miller, student writer
Can mercy be found in a court of justice? Love in the law? Find out as the Union College drama program explores God’s plan to save the world in The Universal Fruit Factory, a courtroom drama presented in Woods Auditorium starting this Friday, November 3.
In this allegorical tale, Mr. Everett Body finds himself on trial for stealing a piece of fruit from his employer, the Universal Fruit Factory. The prosecutor, Mr. Dave Star, is sure he has an air-tight case. After some hilarious character testimony by Mr. Body’s parents and work supervisor, it seems condemnation is sure. But an unexpected decision from the judge leaves Mr. Dave Star stunned and the audience reminded that all have made mistakes, but you can always find forgiveness.
Join the courtroom gallery for this surprising prosecutorial parable. All showings will be free and open to the public, and union students will receive worship credit for attendance.
The Universal Fruit Factory is an adaptation of a short play written by the director, Brett Hadley, with music added by Mike Mennard.
Hadley, an associate professor of communications and drama, has directed more than 20 productions, written and published numerous plays and skits as well as directed the Adventist Christian Theatre touring drama team for 24 years.
Front man for the band Mighty Magic Pants, Mike Mennard has performed and recorded kids and family music for 15 years. The author of several books, Mennard also wrote two of Union’s previous play productions, That’s What Makes Them Pirates in 2010 and Captain Scrooge in 2016, and composed music for Jubilee Road in 2017.
“I wanted to write a short play that was full of allegory and symbolism that illustrated the simple truths of the great controversy story and our experience of salvation inside that story,” said Hadley. “I thought it would be fun for every character to represent a bigger concept and every step of the story a symbolic expression of the experience of salvation.”
The cast appreciates the deeper meaning behind the jokes and courtroom drama. “This play is a comedy but I believe that there is so much truth behind it concerning the reality of God’s love and His plan of redemption for humanity,” said Charmaine Ang, a senior music major who plays Addy Neigh, Everett Body’s work supervisor.
“I think people should come see the show because the message is so powerful, and everyone would benefit from hearing it,” said Yanni Outerbridge, who places the prosecuting attorney. “I’m most excited for people to see the ending and be touched by the story.”
Woods Auditorium is located on the north side of the Don Love Building on the campus of Union College. Park in the college lots located at the corner of 49th and Bancroft. Click here for a map.
November 3 at 6:00 p.m.
November 4 at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
November 10 at 6:00 p.m.
November 11 at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.