Gordon in the News: last updated 10/30/2009

George, Flags and All Things American: Comedy Explores The Funny--and Ironic--side of History

October 1, 2009

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA—From George Washington and the Civil War to Watergate and word games, Gordon’s theatre arts department continues the year’s season of comedy with a play that covers all of American history in just under two hours.

The Complete History of America, Abridged by Adam Long, Austin Tichenor, and Reed Martin opens October 23 at 8 p.m. and runs through October 31 at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Directed by Jeffrey S. Miller, distinguished professor and chair of the theatre arts program, the fast-paced production marks the second comedy event in the 10th anniversary year of the Barrington Center for the Arts (Exit 17 from Highway 128).

“Christopher Fry once remarked that ‘Comedy is an escape not from truth but from despair; a narrow escape into faith.’ If he is right, and I think he is, then The Complete History of America, Abridged, despite its skewering of all things American, is a wry celebration of a country decidedly flawed but astonishingly unique in human history,” said Miller. “The show is often silly, sometimes irreverent but ultimately hopeful.”

The cast—comprised of Ben Drake ’10, Kyle Huck ’10, Taylor Jones ’11, Alec Lewis ’11, Jasmine Myers ’11 and Sarah Romig ’13—roams in and out of the Margaret Jensen Theatre (in the Barrington Center for the Arts) at break neck speed, taking on a variety of characters and scenes from America’s varied past.

“It’s not unlike dropping in on a raucous, no-holds barred family gathering where every dark secret is openly probed, all emotional baggage is dumped and every inner tension revealed,” said Miller. “This show is outrageous but it’s funny and cathartic. American history is far from perfect, but it’s what got us here and here is what we need to face. A sense of humor is critical.”

Working with Miller on The Complete History of America, Abridged is Dawn Jenks Sarrouf, production manager and technical director, Cotton Talbot-Minkin, costume designer, and stage manager Kaitlyn Prior ’11. Lighting design is by Caleb Magoon and scenic design is by Jenna Lord.

The theatre arts department has dedicated the 2009–2010 season to performing a range of comedies. Miller said that comedy “reminds us that the human spirit still triumphs in the middle of difficulty, and for many, the times are tough. Some good laughs can add levity to the bumps and pot-holes we all encounter and help get us through.”

Performance dates and times for The Complete History of America, Abridged include:

October 23 and 30, 8 p.m.;
October 27–29, 7:30 p.m.;
October 24 and 31, 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Ticket prices are:

$7 for students and seniors on Fridays and Saturdays, and $10 for adults;
Tuesday and Wednesday is “pay what you can”;
Thursday and Saturday matinees are $5 for students and seniors, $8 for adults.

All tickets can be purchased online at www.gordon.edu/artsevents or by calling 978.867.3400. They are also available at the Gordon College bookstore, or in limited quantities at the door, one hour before a performance.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on
Boston's North Shore. The College offers majors in 37 fields and has
graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in
Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in
academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize
Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.