CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University Theatre will present the West Coast premiere of Richard Marius' stage adaptation of his critically acclaimed novel, "The Coming of Rain," starting Nov. 11.

Performances run Nov.11-12 and 18-19 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov.14 and Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. on the Withycombe main stage, located at 30th and Campus Way on the OSU campus.

Set in Bourbonville, Tenn., during the Reconstruction period, the story centers around a town coping with the ravages of an unbearable drought. The play's hero, Sam Beckwith, has fallen in love with a German immigrant, in spite of his aristocratic mother's objections. As the story unravels the family must cope with the legacies of the past and the revelation of truth set against a colorful backdrop of rich characters and a turbulent period of American History.

"The Coming of Rain" premiered at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 1998 after Marius was commissioned to adapt his novel. During his adaptation process, Marius sent drafts of the script to his former student at the University of Tennessee, now OSU theater arts professor Charlotte Headrick. Being witness to the play's early development, director Headrick said she is thrilled to bring this production to the West Coast for the first time - and to OSU.

"I adored him and it is an honor to be directing his play," Headrick said. "He had a huge influence on my life."

The play explores the aftermath of slavery and shows the impact of war on a community. Headrick's production emphasizes the play's rich historical context through regional music and the opportunity to learn more about the world of the play through a series of pre-show events including presentations by Margaret Fox, Stacy Smith, Trischa Goodnow, and local Civil War re-enactors.

The cast features OSU students Justin Archield (Houston), Andrew O. Atkinson (Medford, Ore.), John Broc (Sunset Beach, HI), Anastasia Bumbar (Bend, Ore.), Jerika Burton (Woodland, Wash.), Saketa Dixon (Birkendfeld, Germany), Colin Fant (Wilsonville, Ore.), Christy Finley (Spokane, Wash.), Megan Grassl (Sandy, Ore.), Kayla Hedwall (Clackamas, Ore.), Richelle Jean-Bart (Manila, Phillippines), Sam Langley (Klamath Falls, Ore.), Caleb Lewis (Milton, Wash.), Tom Sabatino (Corvallis), Andexandra Shireman (Central Point, Ore.), Jeanette Small, and Nicole Snyder (Portland). Community members M. Theodore Coolen, Ariel Ginsburg, Bill McCarthy, Alice Tucker, Rick Wallace, and Calvin Ward also join the cast.

Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors, $8 student/youth, and $5 OSU students and are available through the OSU Theatre box office at 541-737-2784 or check out

This play contains adult content and may not be suitable for all viewers.

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Charlotte Headrick, 541 737-4918