The Giver Opens Next on our Mainstage

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April 11, 2022 | By Jenny

The Giver Opens Next on our Mainstage

Is it worth sacrificing life’s joys in exchange for a pain-free existence? One child begins to ask this question in The Giver, which opens next on our Mainstage. Adapted from Lois Lowry’s Newbery Award-winning novel, The Giver opens April 29, 2022 with performances Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm through May 22, 2022. Tickets are available online, over the phone at 828-254-1320, or in person at our Box Office.

Michael Jorizzo is directing ACT’s production of The Giver. “I first read The Giver in a 7th grade English class,” he shared. “It was my first exposure to dystopian fiction. I remember being a little bit horrified by it. The novel definitely left an impression, and I was excited to work on the stage version and revisit the story.”

In The Giver, Jonas’ world seems to be perfect. Everything is under control and safe. There is no war or fear or pain. But there are also no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12, she is chosen for special training from The Giver — to receive and keep the memories of the community. Now Jonas will learn the truth about life — and discover what it means to grow up, to grow wise, and to take control of your own destiny.

“Despite the peculiar world in which The Giver takes place, Jonas’ struggle is relatable. The play is a coming of age story. Jonas, like many of us, grows up sheltered from the extremes of the human experience. It’s only when she comes of age, that she learns that her world is not as simple or kind as it once seemed. Like Jonas, many of us come to understand our world is not always just. Affecting meaningful change is not an easy task, yet Jonas is willing to risk everything to bring about that change. That is courage we can all aspire to,” said Jorizzo.

In ACT’s production of The Giver, the role of Jonas will be played by Sarah Elizabeth Haga, a newcomer to the ACT stage. Davey Mills, Patrick Lennon, Tedi Rollins, and Madison Brightwell are also making their ACT debuts. Richard Blue stars as The Giver, and has been seen onstage at ACT many times, memorably as Edna in Hairspray, Fagin in Oliver!, and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. Also returning to the ACT stage are Paige Gorczynski and Denise Lockett.

“I have an incredible cast,” said Jorizzo. “We spent the first few rehearsals doing “Michael’s Book Club” which was basically a giant discussion on how the particulars of this world work: how the world ended up this way, what drives the people, how do they relate to each other, etc. It was such a luxury to have the time to nerd out that hard and a cast that was willing to humor me.”

Asheville Community Theatre is offering audio described performances of The Giver on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 8 at 2:30 pm. An ASL-interpreted performance is planned for later in May and will be announced shortly.

Audience members for all performances are required to wear masks throughout the performance. No concessions will be sold. More information on ACT’s COVID policies can be found here:

Photo: In The Giver, 12 year old Jonas (Sarah Elizabeth Haga) lives in a society devoted to Sameness, but begins to understand the beauty and complexity of life through her work with the Giver. Photo credit: Studio Misha Photography.

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Jonas holds a red apple