The spring mainstage opera of the 2017 “Season of Dreamers” will allow audiences to peek into the conservative compound of a religious family.
Dark Sisters tells the story of the Mormon sister wives of a professed prophet. The story opens as five women in conservative nightgowns grieve for their stolen children.
Kim Dyckman, music theater graduate, plays “Zina” and said she hopes they can do the show justice.
“There’s clearly a message that we’re trying to portray about a real-life experience,” she said. “I hope that we do that justice and do the people that follow this religious belief justice, but also create something that’s really powerful and expresses something that is a huge conflict and still goes on in the country.”
The opera focuses on “Eliza,” played by Alyssa Jackson, opera performance graduate, and Karlye Whitt, vocal performance senior, who struggles to break away from her marriage. Eliza worries for her 15-year-old daughter “Lucinda,” played by Solveig Neseth, vocal performance senior, and Lauren Urso, music theater senior.
“I am challenged artistically at every rehearsal,” Jackson said. “I really want this audience to connect with the empowerment that these women see throughout this opera.”
Nico Muhly composed the music for the 2011 opera, and Stephen Karam wrote the libretto. Muhly, a cousin of Musical Director Dr. Matthew Mailman, is traveling from New York to be in residence for rehearsals.
“Really the opera isn’t about polygamy,” Director David Herendeen said. “It’s about control and it’s this presumption about what we think is right.”
Herendeen said the play doesn’t necessarily take a stance one way or the other.
“There’s no religious judgment in this,” he said. “There’s not even anything against polygamy per se. Family is complicated, no matter how many wives you have.”
Dark Sisters will run at 8 p.m Friday and Saturday with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday from Feb. 17-19. The show will be performed in the Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center.
Tickets range from $14-$28 with student-priced tickets at $7.
More information on the show can be found on the box office website or by calling 405-208-5227.