WWU Theatre to Perform ‘The Diviners’

The William Woods University Theatre Department presents “The Diviners” April 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium.


This marvelously theatrical play, winner of the American College Theatre Festival, is the story of a troubled young man and his friendship with a disenchanted preacher in southern Indiana in the early 1930s. As a child, the young man almost drowned in an accident that claimed the life of his mother, leaving him deathly afraid of water.


The preacher, descended from a long line of Kentucky preachers, is determined to deny his calling. He takes on a job as a mechanic for the boy’s father. The town lacks a preacher, and the women of the town take it upon themselves to convince the preacher to preach, while he tries to convince the boy to wash.


The preacher finally gets the boy to enter the river and washes him, but tragedy strikes. The townspeople mistake it for a baptism, converge upon the river, and the confusion ends in tragedy.


WWU student performers are Drew Arnett of St. Louis, Mo., as Buddy Layman; Jennifer Barber of Jonesboro, Ark., as Jennie Mae Layman; Sam Binkley of Fulton, Mo., as Dewey Maples; Kendra Bolan of Lincoln, Neb., as Norma Henshaw; Jason Cavallone of Columbia, Mo., as Ferris Layman; Michael Dodson of St. Louis, Mo., as Basil Bennet; Nick Hoover of Auxvasse, Mo., as Melvin Wilder; Cody Olendorff of Pacific, Mo., as C.C. Showers; Rachel Petricka of Las Vegas, Nev., as Darlene Henshaw; Kayla Jo Pulliam of Bloomington-Normal, Ill., as Luella Bennet, and Taryn Watts of Nixa, Mo., as Goldie Short.

This production will be directed by Melissa Alpers-Springer, WWU assistant professor of communications and theatre. Guest artist Dan Springer will design the set and lights. Dustin West, a WWU sophomore from Kansas City, Mo., will be the assistant director and stage manager.


For tickets, call the box office at 573-592-4267. Box office hours are 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ticket prices are $9 for adults, $7 for students and $6 for seniors (62+) and children ages 6-12. Children under 6 will not be admitted.