Threepenny Opera opens Thursday, brings awareness to poverty


“The Threepenny Opera” is running from April 5-7 in the Lindenwood Theater. Photo by Arin Froidl


The Lindenwood theater department will close its 2017-2018 season with a three-night performance of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera.”

The show is directed by theater professor Natalie Turner-Jones and is set in the slums of Victorian London. The story follows the lives of the slums’ residents and shows the audience what the people must do to survive.

According to Turner-Jones, the show is about how the lower class may have to do things out of necessity that more affluent people would be judged for doing.

Because many of the students are portraying characters who are struggling to survive, Turner-Jones had her actors go out and observe real people suffering from poverty.

“Suddenly [the show] became very much about bringing awareness to hunger and to people who really have to fight hunger,” Turner-Jones said.

The show breaks the fourth wall on numerous occasions by talking directly to the audience. The set is designed to look like a theater building, so the riggings, set pieces and orchestra can be seen onstage, and some audience seating is on a far corner of the stage itself.

While this set may seem odd, it’s the way Brecht intended the show to be performed.

“He wanted [the audience] to engage on an intellectual level,” Turner-Jones said. “He wanted to confront them with reality.”

According to sophomore Collin Borisenko, the show is about “people being people and trying to survive.”

“I hope the audience looks to themselves and wants to change how they see the poor,” said Borisenko.

For the actors, this show was a chance for them to embrace the reality of their characters.

“With this show, it was the first time that I had the chance to create someone that was an extension of me,” senior Victoria Rossi said. “We [the actors] can be real people.”

“It’s theater that is intended to enlighten and provoke critical thinking,” Turner-Jones said.

“The Threepenny Opera” runs from April 4 to April 7 at 7:30 in the J. Scheidegger Center. Students can get two free tickets with their Lindenwood IDs. For ticket information, contact the Lindenwood box office at 636-949-4433.