“Where Words Once Were” has never been performed outside of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. On Nov. 10, the show will be performed at Weber State University.
As part of WSU’s season of new works, it is the only play in the series that can be enjoyed by audience members eight and older.
In this dystopian play set in an alternative universe, only 1,000 words exist. Invented words like “photosubmissionization” replace common language. Those who use the forbidden language are punished by losing their freedom of speech and, eventually, existence as they know it.
Tracy Callahan is thrilled to direct a play that is geared toward youth theater. She said it is an exciting age that is often forgotten. She believes this story line will captivate their young minds.
“‘Where Words Once Were’ would be a cool first-time experience for anybody that has never seen live theatre,” Callahan said.
In a world of unending business, Callahan said this would be a unique experience for kids to get out from behind the movie and video game screen and see a live production that has an element of science-fiction that most teens can appreciate.
“I’m excited to see this play because it’s going to be weird to see a controlled environment where you can’t express yourself the way that you want to,” said Gabe Alvarez, student at Highland Junior High.
Callahan said there are several famous musicals that gain a lot of attention in Ogden but not many small scale, thoughtful plays are produced.
“This production is a thought-provoking piece of theatre which will inspire, enlighten and perhaps cause us to reflect,” Callahan said.
The hour-long play incorporates social issues seen through the eyes of 12-year-olds. Callahan hints at a visually interesting set complete with projection.
The cast has been collecting recycled milk jugs and other material to create nearly an entire show out of recycled goods to sends a message of what will be left in a futuristic world if we do not take care of it.
All junior high and high school students will be granted free admission with school ID on select nights. Additionally, WSU students will be able to attend the production on Nov. 14 free of charge.
Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts will present “Where Words Once Were” on Nov. 10 and 11 and 14–18 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional performance on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for children, seniors and members of the military. They are on sale now and can be purchased by phone at 801-626-8500 or online at www.weberstatetickets.com.