Alumni News

Curtain Call Presents “John Lennon & Me”

by Jessiah Hulle - University Communications | Mar 22, 2017
John Lennon and Me
The University of Valley Forge (UVF) theater group, Curtain Call, presents this year’s spring play, a dramedy titled “John Lennon & Me,” directed by junior Krystal Rodriquez, with assistant directors sophomore Blaine Cooper and junior Stephanie Hamel. The play tells the story of a young girl named Star, played by senior Danielle Debley, who copes with her cystic fibrosis by fabricating illusions of celebrity grandeur during her hospital stay. This is done by imaginating the transformation of people around her into fantastical personas — like a therapy nurse she imagines as a professional wrestler — and by creating celebrity characters who support and encourage her as she battles her illness. Eventually Star gets a new hospital roommate Courtney, played by freshman Olivia Gordon, who seems completely opposite to her. This serves as a catalyst for Star’s own journey of self-discovery as she faces her mortality.

“John Lennon & Me” is based on the book "Good-bye, Best Friend" by Cheri Bennett and was adapted for the theater by the author. Director Krystal Rodriquez was part of a production of “John Lennon & Me” when she was in high school, and was struck by the themes of death and hopelessness without Jesus Christ. Assistant Director Blaine Cooper stated that Curtain Call picked the dramedy because of its ultimate themes about mortality. “As Christians, we have a hope for an afterlife,” he said. “However, the characters in this show do not share our faith. They struggle with the question of what happens after death.” The play can hopefully serve as a reminder to its Christian audience that they have a hope in Christ that should be shared with those who struggle while facing death. 

Apart from the themes of human ephemerality and the afterlife, the play also acts as a comedy, filled with what Cooper calls “unique and lovable characters who encourage, challenge and help [Star] to understand the world and ultimately herself.” Author Bennett utilizes Star’s love of the Beatles and other celebrities to underpin important messages to young adults about self-acceptance, friendship and living life to the fullest.

“John Lennon & Me” will be performed at Krempels Theater on March 25 & 26 and April 1 & 2.