Columbia High School’s 110-year-old, award-winning drama club, the Parnassian Society, will open Lanford Wilson’s play Book of Days this Friday, November 14, at 8 p.m. for 5 performances.
Book of Days revolves around a mysterious murder in a small Missouri town, and the central character of the story, Ruth Hoch, played by senior Lara Phillips. Ruth is cast in a local community theatre production of George Bernard Shaw’s morality play, St. Joan. She begins her own personal quest to find truth and honesty amid small-town jealousies, religion, greed and lies.
Book of Days was Lanford Wilson’s homage to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and the play is structured much like Our Town with a variety of narrators controlling the action. Variety said, “Book of Days is Wilson’s best work since Fifth of July … An intriguing, prismatic and thoroughly engrossing depiction of contemporary small-town life with a murder mystery at its core . . a splendid evening of theater . . .”
Columbia’s Parnassian Society was started at Columbia High School in 1905 and developed into a community tradition under the guidance of the beloved Social Studies teacher Mildred Memory. In the last 12 years, under the direction of Stephen Stubelt, the organization has been nominated for a variety of awards for acting and production values through the Montclair Theater Night Awards at Montclair State University, winning on several occasions.
Performance dates are: Friday and Saturday, November 14, 15, 21, 22, at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, November 16, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 973-713-6866 for reservations.