A Look Inside the Upcoming Fall Play: Mother Hicks

Theatre+students+preparing+for+fall+play+during+early+season+rehearsals.

Leah Lazurek

Theatre students preparing for fall play during early season rehearsals.

Natalie Perrelli, Staff Reporter

Southern Lehigh’s talented theater students are excited to open the curtains for the upcoming fall play: the poetic “Mother Hicks.” Cast members spend multiple hours almost every day after school perfecting the depiction of the story, and students are confident in its production progress.

The play occurs in Ware, Illinois, in late 1935 during the Great Depression. It tells the tale of three main characters, Girl, Tuc, and Mother Hicks, trying to guide themselves and each other through troubled times.

Girl is an orphan who cannot seem to stay in one home for very long. Tuc is a young deaf man who others look down upon because of his lack of hearing. Mother Hicks is a midwife with unconventional practices, convincing everyone that she is a witch. 

“Even though it’s set in 1930s Illinois, there are a lot of remnants of the Salem Witch Trials,” senior Allie Ranton, who plays the role of Mother Hicks, says. “[Mother Hicks] gets blamed for basically everything.”

American Sign Language is the majority of expression in the play. The part of Tuc is played almost entirely silently, besides his narration scenes. The actors say it is a challenge to learn a different language for a part, and something they will need to push through to make scenes impactful and get the message across with minimal words.

Even with the difficulties, the play is evocative and moving, with some actors even tearing up a bit in their first read-through.

“It’s a very different experience than anything I’ve ever done before,” Ranton says. “It’s really really heavy.” 

Southern Lehigh’s theater department has also welcomed a new director, Mr. Jarad Benn, after music teacher Mr. Matthew Wehr stepped down from the role. With over 20 years of experience teaching theater to all ages, Mr. Benn is confident that the play will be fabulous. 

“It’s going to be a great first show for me and the students to get back into the normal routines of doing two shows a year,” Mr. Benn says. “I’m excited to have a chance to show the community and student population what theater can do.” 

“Mother Hicks” will hit the stage on November 9th, and will run until the 12th. Ticket prices range from eight to ten dollars and are available now.