Skip to content

Great River Players To Present 1984

Big Brother is watching.

George Orwell wrote those words in 1949, and they’re still hauntingly relevant today.

Great River Players will present the play, 1984, adapted from Orwell’s novel by Robert Owens, Wilton E. Hall Jr. and William A. Miles Jr.

The three-act play is directed by Mike Scott of Kahoka. Scott’s last directing venture for GRP was “Father of the Bride” in 2013.

“1984” is set in a world where Newspeak is replacing standard English, and the Thought Police monitor every thought and action with ruthless authority. Winston Smith, an ordinary Party worker in the Ministry of Truth, whose daily job requires him to re-write the past in order to control the future, dares to think on his own.

“The play is extremely political,” said Scott. “But we’re not making it partisan at all. This play is about the overwhelming power of big government. The parallels to some of the recent events in our nation are uncanny and uncomfortable.”

The play features GRP veteran Ben Moser of Keokuk as Winston Smith. Newcomer Erika Barrett, also of Keokuk, portrays Julia, Smith’s love interest and co-conspirator. Todd Davis of Kahoka, another GRP first-timer, play Syme, the expert in Newspeak. Tim Snyder of Carthage, a veteran of many GRP productions, will appear as O’Brien, a powerful Inner Party member. Christal Lewiston returns to the GRP stage as the Landlady. Grace Buerklin, who has appeared in many GRP productions, is Parsons. Kathryn Cole of Hamilton and Joe Mikunas of Keokuk are guards in the production. Noah Davis of Kahoka is George, the 14-year-old son of Parsons, who is member of the Child Spies organization. TJ Besler and Elsa Besler of Kahoka round out the cast, appearing on the telescreen throughout the play.

Performances will be held at Great River Players, 17 South 6th Street in Keokuk, on Thursday, October 27, and Saturday October 29 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, October 30 at 2:00pm, and again Saturday, November 5 at 7:00pm, and Sunday, November 6 at 2:00.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the box office before the show, or on Tuesday or Wednesday evening at the box office between 5:30- 7:00pm.

“1984” is is produced by special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing, Woodstock, Illinois.