March 10, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- The University Theatre will present The Yellow Boat, an inspirational play for all ages. The play opens on March 18 and runs through March 27 in the Multiform Theatre at the Gilmore Theatre Complex. All shows start at 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 21.
Written by David Saar, The Yellow Boat centers around the true story of his son Benjamin, a hemophiliac, and his struggle with the HIV virus which he contracted through a blood transfusion at age six. Every night, Benjamin hears the tale of the blue, red, and yellow boats that sailed out to sea; the blue and the red return to the harbor, but the yellow boat sails up to the sun. Through the eyes of the yellow boat, the audience is carried through Benjamin's childhood.
A gifted young artist, the real-life Benjamin expressed himself through a number of beautiful drawings. A special collection of 26 of his original works will be displayed in the Atrium Lobby of the Gilmore Theatre Complex throughout the production. These beautiful pieces of art offer insight into the life of a child infected with HIV.
Panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt also will be on display in the Atrium Lobby throughout the production.
David Saar, playwright and artistic director of the Child's Play children's theatre in Tempe, Ariz., worked with the WMU cast during the rehearsal process for The Yellow Boat in February.
The Yellow Boat marks the University Theatre directoral debut of Rachel Briley, the new director of theatre education. The cast consists of Joseph Paulik as Benjamin, Deborah Franz as Mother, Hal Hobson as Father, Suzi Barrett as Joy, and a transitional chorus including Emily Strand, Hillary Hernandez, Donnie Tuel, and Stephen Kadwell.
University Theatre will accept donations to benefit Camp Heartland during the run of The Yellow Boat. Camp Heartland is a camping and care program for children impacted by HIV and AIDS.
For more information on The Yellow Boat, or to purchase tickets, contact the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 616 387-6222.
Media contact: Jeremy Thompson, 616 387-6222
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
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