Theatre presents sci-fi drama, "Harvest"

Hanover College Theatre will present “Harvest,” a sci-fi drama by the contemporary Indian playwright Manjula Padmanabhan, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 14-16, at 7:30 p.m., in Parker Auditorium on the Hanover campus.

Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Paul Hildebrand, the action-packed melodrama unfolds in a near-future world where the protagonist, Om Prakash, a poor, out-of-work clerk, agrees to sell unspecified organs through an organization called InterPlanta Services to a rich person on the other side of the world for a small fortune. InterPlanta and the organ recipient, Ginni, are obsessed with maintaining Prakash’s health and invasively control his life, along with the lives of his mother and wife in their one-room apartment. Ginni, periodically looks in on them via an all-seeing video communication module and treats them condescendingly. Through a series of events, however, Om's diseased brother Jeetu is taken to give organs instead of Om.  The true central character of the play, Om’s wife Jaya, finds the courage and strength in the end to stand up and rebel against the economic enslavement of the system.

“The play carries an urgent message,” said Hildebrand. “Padmanabhan dramatizes a real issue in her country and an increasing one around the world: the illicit trade in human organ transplants. Yet, although the topic is a grim one, the play is full of ironic humor which we endeavor to illuminate in our production. When I ask the students in my Global Theatre course which of the plays we have read were their favorites, “Harvest” always ranks at the top of their list.”

“Harvest” won the 1997 Onassis Prize as the best new international play, selected out of 1,460 entries from 76 countries. It received its New York premier in 2003 and has enjoyed numerous U.S. and international productions.

Tickets for “Harvest” will be available at the door, and are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), $5 for youth (high school and under) and free for Hanover faculty and staff.  The play is for mature audiences.