Dixie State University’s theater program pulled the curtains back during homecoming week.
The opener premiered Thursday and is the first main stage production to have a student director.
Tiffany Herzog, a senior theater major from Brigham City, was offered the opportunity to direct “God of Carnage.”
“I was super, super terrified for all of it,” Herzog said.
The faculty department had confidence in Herzog that she could handle the stress and responsibility of being a director and determined she would benefit from the experience, said Michael Harding, an associate professor of theater and head of the department of theater and dance.
“God of Carnage” is set in France inside a family home. Two sets of parents come together to civilly discuss a brawl that occurred between their younger boys, and they slowly devolve into children themselves.
“It is really about maturity or the lack thereof,” Harding said. “Who is at fault? Is it the kid who is bullying, or is it the parent?”
“God of Carnage” differs from previous plays shown at DSU because it is contemporary and a “little harsher,” Harding said.
“Everybody is like, ‘more Shakespeare,’ but Shakespeare is naughty,” Harding said.
“God of Carnage” is a dark comedy rated PG-13 for language and a few graphic scenes.
Audience members also receive a different experience with the play being shown in the black box theater, instead of the main stage in the Eccles Fine Art Center. This allows actors and details of the play to be close and personal, Hertzog said.
Planning for “God of Carnage” began at the end of March, casted for four actors and two swing actors, and has about 12 to 15 students involved in the production.
Each of the theater productions at DSU is planned six months in advance with the next production beginning every two months.
“Barnum” is currently in rehearsal, “The White Whale” rehearsal will begin soon, and auditions for “The Country Wife” in late October. “God of Carnage” will be shown again Oct. 1 through the 3 at 7:30 p.m.
This upcoming season for the theater program is one of the most diverse DSU has had, Harding said.
“Barnum” is a musical with a circus plot, “The White Whale” is a devised play where actors follow the story plot but create the script, and “The Country Wife” is a restoration comedy.
“Being a university, it is our job to expose not only [the] community, but particularly our students to what is out there,” Harding said.
Harding said the program has changed a lot in the nine years he’s been involved. The growth will come now that DSU is a university, he said.
“Now we are poised to grow,” Harding said.