The Theatre Department of Pennsylvania Western University California will perform a Tony Award-winning play to begin the 2022-23 season.

PennWest California Theatre will perform “God of Carnage,” written by Yasmina Reza, at 7 p.m. Oct. 13-15 and 2 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Blaney Blackbox Theatre at Steele Hall.  

Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, “God of Carnage” recreates an evening in the lives of two couples as they meet to discuss a playground incident, devolving from civility into chaos in a gripping critique of societal structure.

The cast includes Jillian Bruni-Cryster (Veronica Novak), Linden Carbaugh (Annette Raleigh), Cole McGlumphy (Michael Novak), Trenton Antill (Alan Raleigh), and is supported by Production Stage Manager Carlin Croushore and Assistance Stage Manager Marlena Bononi.

Director Dr. John Paul “JP” Staszel praised the cast for taking an intense subject matter and performing the play with the intensity called for by Reza.

“Working on this show has been a messy delight,” he said. “When you see it, you’ll understand why. It has challenged us as a program and pushed our awareness on several controversial issues.”

The subject matter may be tough for the audience to digest, Dr. Staszel said, noting the show has a content warning for various insulting slurs and language as well as depictions of bullying, domestic violence, and animal cruelty. The values of the characters in the show do not reflect the values of PennWest California Theatre or PennWest.

“Working on shows with content that is not pleasant offers everyone a chance to reflect and have an opinion to discuss,” Staszel said. “That is why, after each show, we will be holding a talk-back to allow our audience a platform to express their feelings and reactions.”

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