On Stage: WVSU presents a decades old story with lessons for today

Show poster promoting the WVSU production of "The Good Woman Of Setzuan" (Courtesy: WVSU)

It's very possible when Bertolt Brecht debuted his play "The Good Woman of Setzuan" back in 1943, he had no idea how relevant its subject matter would be more than 70 years later.

But that's the case for the story, which is being presented by West Virginia State University.

"It sort of asks the questions can you survive in the world and be a good person?" Susan Marrash-Minnerly (Director) said. "And he was asking that between the world wars. And I look at political situations now and ask myself that every day."

WVSU uses a combination of paid and volunteer talent to stage the show, which focuses on the plight of a young prostitute. Three gods who travel to earth find the woman. Because they decide she tried to be good, they give her money to help with her difficult life.

But, she soon finds that money is not the root of happiness because with it comes a barrage of people wanting her riches for their own.

"We have original music for the show composed by Matt Jackfert and its being played by the principal timpanist for the West Virginia Symphony, Scott Christian," Marrash-Minnerly said. "So, those things add a lot to this play."

The lessons of can a good life be lived in a world of evil are explored using the playwright's non-traditional style of storytelling.

"Brecht was famous for his style of theatre which was epic theatre," Marrash-Minnerly said. "And, it was very non-realistic. He wanted his audience to have completely intellectual reactions to his plays. He didn't want them to get caught up in the emotion of the play."

West Virginia State University presents "The Good Woman of Setzuan" (Play)
by Bertolt Brecht
Original music composed by Matt Jackfert; performed by Scott Christian
Essential Stages
Wed-Sat April 19- 22 at 7:30pm
David Stephen Skeen Theatre
Cole Buidling
WVSU, Institute, WV
WVSU students FREE; $10 General Admission

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