Katie Griswold, AJ Weber, and SophiaRose Brown in “The Children's Hour" at Augustana College -- December 6 through 9.

Thursday, December 6, through Sunday, December 9

Augustana College's Honkamp Myhre Black Box Theatre, 3750 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island IL

An American stage drama as powerful, affecting, and deeply relevant today as it was in its 1934 debut, Lillian Hellman's classic The Children's Hour will be produced in Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center December 6 through 9, its tale of clandestine love and small-minded bigotry standing as a haunting reminder of the continued horrors of intolerance.

Set in a fictional New England town in the 1930s, The Children’s Hour tells the story of Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, teachers at an all-girls boarding school who are accused of homosexual activity by young student Mary Tilford. Prompted by the influential Amelia Tilford – an upstanding member of the community who also happens to be Mary's indulgent grandmother – the outraged townsfolk quickly withdraw all of their students from the school, causing a witch hunt that ultimately forces the institution to close. Martha and Karen consequently take the accusations to court in a libel suit and find their lives quickly unraveling as they become social pariahs, resulting in a theatrical masterpiece that was both in consideration for the 1934-35 Pulitzer Prize and led to the Hollywood blacklisting of author Hellman.

Directing The Children's Hour is Augustana senior Shyan DeVoss, who previously appeared in such stage productions as Crimes of the Heart, The Madwoman of Chaillot, and this past fall's The Crucible. Karen and Martha are portrayed by Katie Griswold and SophiaRose Brown, respectively, with Mary and Amelia enacted by Emma Hydorn and Madison McCobb. Nearly a dozen additional performers, meanwhile, compose the rest of The Children's Hour's cast: Rachel Brauns, Kelly Coons, Emily Johnson, Lauren Larson, Sophie Nevel, Kate Normoyle, Em Palmieri, Mary Isabel Sales, Olivia Smith, Roxanne Torian, and AJ Weber.

The Children's Hour runs December 6 through 9 at Augustana's Honkamp Myhre Black Box Theatre in the Brunner Theatre Center, with performances Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Admission is $5-10, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)794-7306 or visiting Augustana.edu.

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