by Austin Actors Studio
Dec. 04 - Dec. 12 (2017)
The Diviners is a play by Jim Leonard, Jr. It takes place in the fictional town of Zion, Indiana during the 1930s/Great Depression era. The play was originally developed with assistance from the American College Theatre Festival and originally performed by the Hanover CollegeTheatre Group in 1980. The play later received its first professional production with the Circle Repertory Company in 1980.
The play begins and ends with elegies spoken by two of the townspeople describing what happened the day of Buddy's tragedy. The body of the play is the memory of the time leading to the climatic event. Buddy is searching (divining) for water for local farmer, Basil. Luella, Basil's wife, refuses to believe that the boy can find water.
Set in the early days of the Depression in a small southern Indiana town named Zion, Buddy Layman is a mentally-challenged boy whose sweet nature touches most people he meets.. One day a stranger named C.C. Showers passes through Zion looking for work and food. C.C. takes an immediate liking to Buddy and vice versa. C.C. is able to relate to Buddy in ways that most people aren't. The two become close friends and C.C. soon finds himself as Buddy's mentor and teacher. Jennie Mae is attracted to C.C., and though he likes her, Jennie Mae isn't the only single girl near Zion that finds C.C. a catch of a man. The town’s dry goods owner has her eye set on bringing old fashioned revival to the community. The local diner owner would love to see the church rebuilt – and all the Sunday customers it would bring to her establishment. CC’s relationship with the people of the town changes drastically when they learned that he was a former preacher who has given up preaching. That knowledge changes everything and leads to a horrible tragedy.
A “slice of life” play, “The Diviners”, takes the viewers intimately close to the main characters :
- CC Showers- having a crisis of faith and purpose
- Buddy - who can mysteriously “feel” when water is near, yet fears it to the point of phobia.
- Ferris - A single father trying to raise two challenging kids in the depression.
- Jennie Mae – forced to grow-up too soon, facing normal coming of age feelings
- Towns people who each have a point of view and in their desire to achieve what they believe to be righteous and true, cause distraction and calamity.
Austin Actors Studio is still looking for two males for the production of The Diviners which will open February 16. 2018 at the Nazro Theatre on the St. Andrew's Episcopal Schools upper campus.
One male in his early 30's is C. C. Showers, a wayward preacher in search of a home.
The other male is Ferris Layman, a loving, stubborn and colorful father.
If interested, please contact Milton R. Zoth, Artistic Directorfirstname.lastname@example.org.
[poster image from Golden West College Theatre]