Augustana presents the very first play to show a lesbian on stage

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Augustana College Theater Department will present “The Captive,” Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, April 10, at the Brunner Theater Center, 3750 7th Ave., Rock Island.

“The Captive” was written in 1926 by a French playwright, Edouard Bourdet. The play takes place in Paris and tells the story of a young lesbian asking her best friend to pose as her fiancé, in order to ensure her safety, according to a press release from the college. “The Captive” was the first play in American history to feature an openly lesbian woman on stage.

Kaitlin Jacobson in “The Captive”.

“After a short Broadway run, the cast and crew were all arrested for obscenity,” says director Keenan Ellis ’22. “It is for this reason that I placed the piece in modern America.”

“‘The Captive’ is not a romance, it’s not a comedy, it’s a story of survival,” she said in the statement. “And even though this piece was written almost 100 years ago, the issues and the danger of being queer are still very much alive in 2022.”

Jack McCurdy in “The Captive”.

“The Captive” is directed by Augustana senior Keenan Ellis. Jessa Simon is an assistant director and playwright. Kaitlin Jacobson plays Irene De Montcel and Titus Jildera is her fiancé (later husband) Jacques Virieu.

Other cast members include Allie McPeak, Brian Hefferan, Emma Watts, Rob Stanislawski, Jack McCurdy, and CeCe Olvera.

Kaitlin Jacob and Titus Jilderda in “The Captive”.

Emily Keiner is the musical composer. Camryn Maclean is the choreographer and Jeffery Flinchmen is the assistant choreographer. Faith Rund is the stage manager, assisted by Lindsey Edwards. Lighting design is by Riley Scranton, costumes by Jacqueline Isaacson and props by Zachary Misner.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. April 7-9 and 1:30 p.m. April 10 in the Black Box at Brunner Theater Center. Tickets can be purchased at Augustana.edu/tickets.

For more information, contact the box office at tickets@augustana.edu or 309-794-7306.

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