Utah State’s The Great God Pan is Stunning

By Leah Checketts

For only one more night, the Caine College of the Arts for the Year of the Arts, the Utah State Theatre Department impressively portrays The Great God Pan by Amy Herzog in the Black Box Theater.

Opening with Jamie (Cameron Eastland) and Frank (Noah Gentry) catching up on old times sets the audience up for a roller coaster ride of emotions as one small question and a lack of memory create a series of events leading to self-awareness and discovery by every member of the cast.

Paige (Rebecca Swan), who is Jamie’s girlfriend, has to evaluate her own choices in order to move forward – or maybe back. Cathy (Stacey Shorthill) and Doug (Spencer Riley Hamilton) are faced with the knowledge that one of their decisions based on their own pride may have set their son, Jamie, up for some bitter realities, while Joelle (Rachel Banner) is left wondering which direction to go with her therapist, Paige. Polly (Liza Shoell) gives Jamie a key to unlock the mysteries even through her dementia.

There is both adult language and content throughout the production, meant to make the audience think and to point out some of the harshness we live with daily, so it is not recommended for small children.

If you are not familiar with the black box, the space invites open expression for any production. It is, literally, a black box of a room which creates an intimate space for exploration.

The production team, led by Director Jason Spelbring, and consisting of Stage Manager and Run Crew member Griffin Satoda, Assistant Stage Manager and Run Crew member Joe Bayless, Lighting Designer Jaydon Carling, Sound Designer Dylan Rice, Production ManagerBruce Duerden, Production Assistant LuAnn Baker, Costume Shop Manager Lydia Seller, Technical Director Scott Richardson, and Artistic Director and Department Head Adrianne Moore are obviously coordinating their combined talents to showcase the artistry of the small cast. The set, the audience and the actors are always together on the floor.
Spelbring’s direction brought each character to life, even with the monochromatic set, simple costuming and unique space. In fact, the drab background of the Theatre Lab combined with the lack of additional color added to the overall ambiance of the production, letting each character shine.

The Great God Pan is an unsettling production, which is well executed by the cast and well-showcased in the music and set. It is playing through Saturday, February 10 in the Black Box Theater at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. I would highly recommend visiting that space with an open mind and prepared for an evening adventure.

Utah State University Caine College of the Arts presents The Great God Pan  by Amy Herzog
Black Box Studio Theatre, 600 North 1150 East, Logan, UT 84341
February 2, 3, 7 – 10, 2018  7:30 PM
Tickets:  Adult (Ages 18+) $13,  Senior (Ages 60+) $10, Youth (Ages 6 to 17) $10,  USU Faculty and Staff $8, USU Student  FREE!
Contact: 435-797-0085
Caine College of the Arts Facebook Page
The Great God Pan Facebook Event

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