Ball State's production of 'Wrens' to explore struggles of war-time women

By Chanel Richards

MUNCIE, IN - Ball State University's Department of Theatre and Dance is getting some help from the Ivy League with its upcoming production of the World War II drama "Wrens." 

The ensemble play, focusing on the lives of seven women serving in the Women's Royal Navy Service (WRNS), is being directed by Suzanne Agins, visiting lecturer in theater at Princeton University. "Wrens" opens on the University Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 with shows following at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8-9, 13-16 and a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 10.

"Wrens" was written by Scottish-born Anne McGravie and inspired by the playwright's own involvement with the women's branch of the Royal Navy as a young woman in war-torn England. 

The play explores the relationships of English, Welsh and Scottish women serving in the Royal Navy on the eve of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Together, the group shares a barrack, with each member fighting inner conflicts centering on emotional growth, loss of innocence and biting questions about her responsibility toward others. Their bond will be tested when one Wren is raped and forced to face the soul-threatening choices of what to do about her subsequent pregnancy.

Agins said she has enjoyed her role as guest director. "The students are all incredibly bright and motivated young actors, and it has truly been a pleasure participating in a creative process with them," she said.

Tickets for the performance cost $13 for the general public, $12 for faculty and staff, $10 for senior citizens and $7 for students. They are available from the University Theatre Box Office, from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit www.bsu.edu/theatre for more information.

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