During his life, Joseph Merrick was only seen at face value: a face that was severely disfigured by an unknown disease. Given the nickname “The Elephant Man,” Merrick has continued to fascinate thousands since his death in 1890.
This weekend, Merrick’s story will be performed by the Tin Roof Theatre Company at the Stage at Island Park.
“The Elephant Man” depicts Merrick’s discovery by Dr. Frederick Treves at a Victoiran oddity show and Merrick’s subsequent hospitalization and introduction into society.
Merrick had a still-unknown illness that caused abnormal skin and bone growths that permanently altered his appearance.
Because of his strange appearance, Merrick was featured in a curiosity show until Treves offered him lodging for the chance to study him.
Merrick’s appearance caused many misconceptions to occur. Many considered Merrick simpleminded and barbaric. However, his intelligence and kind nature captivated many.
Merrick struggled with his abnormalities as he became more acquainted with average society. He began to act like a “normal” person in the time leading to his ultimate death.
While the play focuses mostly on the intimate portions of Merrick’s life, it also deals with the hardships experienced by his doctor, Frederick Treves. As Treves and Merrick become closer, Treves begins to worry more about Merrick’s condition and his adequacy as a doctor.
Craig Roath will take on the challenge of portraying Merrick and Nate Pace will represent Frederick Treves.
Merrick’s inner struggles are relatable to a modern audience. His timeless experiences will cause the audience to reimagine their interpretations of others and their own self-conceptions.
“The Elephant Man” is a contemplative, interesting story that will leave the audience with a greater appreciation for their own selves and others.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. March 17-19 and 2:00 p.m., Sunday and March 20
Where: The Stage at Island Park
Price: $12 with valid student I.D.
More Info: Event website or call (701) 235-6778