CCBC Essex Academic Theatre explores prejudice and racism in the context of “The Elephant Man”

Oct 09, 2015 | by Jacquie Lucy | 443.840.4668 (office) | 443.761.2482 (cell)

Oct. 22-24, 26 and 27, COMM Theatre, CCBC Essex

Baltimore County, MD — CCBC Essex Academic Theatre presents a challenging new vision of The Elephant Man in its 5-day run – Oct. 22-24 at 8 p.m., Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. and Oct. 27 at 11:15 a.m. – in the College Community Center Theatre at CCBC Essex, 7201Rossville Boulevard in Rosedale, Md. Tickets are $8 general admission; $5 seniors, students, CCBC faculty, staff and alumni with free admission for current CCBC students with IDs. Tickets can be purchased online at or from the CCBC Box Office 443-840-ARTS (2787). [Note: There is brief nudity.]

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance chronicles the life of John Merrick, a man suffering from multiple and horrifying skin and bone diseases. He makes his living as a sideshow performer until he is robbed and abandoned by his manager. Through the efforts of a young doctor, Frederick Treves, he finds a home at the London Hospital, and becomes the darling of the aristocracy. This safety and acceptance, however, come at a high price.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Peter Carver directs his first production at CCBC with a daring experiment designed to confront the historical and present reality of prejudice. His production draws connections between the practice of displaying “human oddities” in freak shows in Victorian England and the contemporary challenges of racism. The CCBC production features a diverse, race-conscious cast including an ensemble of sideshow performers.

The Elephant Man cast includes Darius Foreman of Edgewood, Md. as John Merrick, with Bryan Brown of Baltimore, Md. as Dr. Frederick Treves. The competing perspectives of science and religion are represented through hospital administrator Carr Gomm (Giustino Puliti of Baltimore, Md.) and Bishop How (Christian Fisher of Essex, Md.) [Pictured L-R with John Merrick (Darius Foreman) in the foreground.]

Bringing John Merrick the friendship and tenderness his life has lacked is the British actress Mrs. Kendal, played by Maia Punksungka of Rosedale, Md. Jimmy Yarsay and Shirlette Jackson of Rosedale, Md.; Jalon Payton of Overlea, Md.; India Palmer of Edgewood, Md.; Ken Jiretsu of Clifton, Md., and Adolphus Williams of Baltimore, Md. form the ensemble of sideshow performers, including a Strongman, Pinheads and a Bearded Lady. The other characters of Victorian London are played by Anjali Cornish, Anna Steuerman, and Clair Westcott of Timonium, Md.; Tim Neil and Brett Bean of Baltimore, Md., and Jacob Rayburn of Parkton, Md.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Terri Raulie’ s set and lighting creates the historical context of the Victorian freak show as well as scientific racism of the period. The scenes are encompassed within a circus atmosphere that reaches beyond the stage to draw the audience into the action. CCBC Music Instructor Daniel Lewis arranged and performs his original musical accompaniment live. Costumes are by AT Jones and Sons under the direction of Costumer James J. Fasching. Technical Director Jason Randolph also provided his expertise in circus history and performance.

Watch the video promo »

For tickets and information, contact the CCBC Box Office at 443-840-2787 (ARTS).


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Promo image of The Elephant Man theatre production