Huckleberry Fin to play at Daum Theatre

“As February comes to a close, the University of Akron will send Black History Month out with a bang with the School of Dance, Theatre and Arts Administration’s production of Big River, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As the name suggests, the musical is based off of Mark Twain’s 1884 novel.”

As February comes to a close, the University of Akron will send Black History Month out with a bang with the School of Dance, Theatre and Arts Administration’s production of Big River, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

As the name suggests, the musical is based off of Mark Twain’s 1884 novel. Danny Durst, Project Coordinator for the School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration’s production of the musical, stated that the musical goes hand-in-hand with the novel. It follows Huckleberry Finn, a boy living in a small Missouri town, who breaks free from his father and a life that he thinks is oppressive.

As Huck embarks down the Mississippi River, he encounters Jim, an escaped slave from his hometown, who is attempting to reach the free states and raise enough money to buy his family out of slavery. As Huck and Jim travel together, they form.

The musical, similarly to the novel, stresses that a young boy could see people without color, even during a time when slavery and racial inequality existed. It’s trying to drive home that we should all be able to do that in the modern day, Durst said.

But while the performance follows the plot of the novel, it differs from the novel in that it is a musical, which gives it a much different feel from the book, Durst explained.

The music in the show represents that which was created during the period of slavery and allowed for communication between slaves. Aside from this, the remaining music in the show portrays the general spirit of the time period.

Originally performed on Broadway, Big River earned an impressive seven Tony Awards before closing. The university will be revitalizing the musical this week and the next.

Directed by UA professor Susan Speers, the cast includes UA students, as well as a few members of the community. Courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association, it also features UA alumnus Brian Johnson as the role of Jim.

Performances will occur at 8 p.m. Feb. 26 – 28 and March 5-7, as well as once at 2 p.m. on March 1.

They will occur on campus in the Paul A. Daum Theatre in Kolbe Hall. Tickets cost $12 general admission, $10 for UA faculty and retirees and $6 for students. Durst emphasizes that the performance appeals to people of all ages.