If you had to describe a dragon, what are some of the first things that come to mind? Scaly? Riddle-obsessed? Greedy? FIRE?!
How about reluctant?
In tonight’s performance of Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon, you’ll be introduced to a dragon like no other.
Dr. David Burke, who currently teaches in Greenville Technical College’s Speech Communication and Theatre Department, is the main performer in this production.
He will perform a one-person adaptation of this story at 7 p.m. in Rodeheaver Auditorium.
Tickets are available at the box office and cost $8 for Bob Jones University students and $16 for the general public.
The Reluctant Dragon is a story about a boy befriending a dragon who is more interested in literature and poetry than hoarding gold and decimating townships.
“The dragon that this boy meets in the story is somebody who wants to hang out and be lazy, make up things, and just be there, and eat whenever he gets a chance,” Burke said. “He’s everybody’s best friend. So really the story’s about friendship.”
Having taught subjects like solo performance, Burke is quite equipped for tonight’s performance.
The only other performer Burke will share the stage with is the puppet Burke’s friends at The Logos Theatre created.
The puppet comes alive in Burke’s hands. Burke talks back and forth with the dragon while it blinks its eyes, nods its head and goes to sleep on Burke’s command.
The creators behind the puppet are Ken Hines and Justin Swain, The Logos Theatre’s puppeteers, and their team of creative geniuses.
The Logos Theatre is known for its puppets, making creatures come to life such as Aslan the lion from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, performed at The Logos Theatre which is connected to the ministries of The Academy of Arts, a ministry founded in 1971 by Dr. Nicky Chavers, a graduate of and former teacher at BJU.
Chavers’ intent in starting The Academy of Arts was to have a platform to bring the Bible to life through dramatic productions.
The ministry performed riveting adaptations of Bible stories and expanded to perform productions such as Little Women, Our Town, and The Christmas Carol, just to name a few.
Over its 48 years of ministry, The Academy of Arts has shown the light of Christ through its performances and training of young people to use their talents to bring glory to God.
Another person of interest in this production is someone you will not find in the spotlight, Meetra Hamedi, the stage manager.
Hamedi, a senior theatre major, has participated behind the scenes of productions in many different compacities over her time at BJU, but this will be her first time taking on the responsibilities of student stage manager.
She will be the first female to fill this role in a BJU production in Rodeheaver, which until The Reluctant Dragon was only taken on by male BJU students.
Hamedi is excited to be stage manager for this production.
“Not only is this a huge opportunity, and actually a big step for Bob Jones [University] . . . I’m a theater major,” Hamedi said. “And my long-term career goal is stage management, so this is also one of those doors that I think God has opened for me personally.”
She hopes The Reluctant Dragon can show students that theatre is something that is enjoyable.
“We just really want to get people interested and to know that it’s [theatre] not this weird, old stuffy thing that was maybe cool back then, but not now,” Hamedi said. “It’s still cool, and it’s still fun. I think everyone’s going to enjoy it.”
David Eoute Sr., the associate producer for BJU productions, is making strides to get high school through elementary age kids interested in theatre through this adaptation of The Reluctant Dragon.
Although this is a play that all ages can enjoy, this imaginative, light-hearted story would be a wonder-filled way to introduce a child to the magic of the theatre.