published Friday, October 12th, 2012

Lee University theater re-examines Jekyll, Hyde

IF YOU GO

What: "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

When: 7:30 p.m. today-Monday; box office opens at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Lee University's Edna Minor Conn Theatre (Room 305, Vest Building), 1125 Church St. N.E., Cleveland, Tenn.

Admission: $10 adults, $7 seniors/students.

Phone: 614-8343.

Website: www.leeuniversity.edu/theatre.edu.

Is there a bit of Mr. Hyde in all of us?

That's what's suggested in the adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," which opens the 2012-13 theater season at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.

The 2009 adaptation, in essence, questions what morality is and alters the perceptions of good and evil, according to director Lindsay Hanson, a senior theater student.

"It's a beautifully done play," she said. "It turns preconceived notions on their head."

In the original novella, London lawyer Gabriel John Utterson investigates the strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. In time, it appears Dr. Jekyll has what is today called a split personality, one good and one evil.

The adaptation focuses on the interconnectedness of good and evil, suggesting, Hanson said, "we need to face our demons in order to keep them from controlling us, not repress them."

To illustrate that, multiple characters double as Mr. Hyde.

"We all have our own Hydes, not just Jekyll," she said. "It brings that out in a lovely, visual way."

The play starts at the end of the original story and works through it in flashbacks. The adaptation is enhanced, Hanson said, by a minimal stage, timeless setting, universal location and ambiguous clothing.

"We've chosen to remove those barriers," she said.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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