The Bob Jones University theatre department will host a performance of Whales Outside the Window by BJU alumna Lydia Stewart Scheps from Feb. 28 to March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Performance Hall. The play explores the inner workings of life and human relationships — what it means to embrace the yet-to-be-known and the humility it takes to do so.
Whales is being produced by BJU theatre graduate students, including Katelin Orr, Karie Jensen, Lily Fonte and Kayley Baker. Baker, the play’s costume designer, will play the role of the protagonist Lily Wilde as part of her graduate thesis project on mental health. Scheps, the playwright, earned a master’s degree in dramatic production from BJU.
Whales tells the story of Lily, a best-selling author who is struggling with anxiety and writer’s block. Desperate to get her writing again, her editor and her sister bring in psychologist Jonathan Lake to try to help her. Through their sessions, they begin to learn more about what it means to truly know people. Over time, Lily and Jonathan develop a genuine friendship as they learn to accept each other for who they are, even after seeing each other at their worst.
Although Whales explores some serious topics, director Nathan Pittack promises that the play will not be heavy. “The show ebbs and flows between humorous moments and thought-provoking conversations,” Pittack said. “I think the audience is really going to enjoy watching the development of Lily and Jonathan’s friendship.”
“I wanted to kind of bring light to the fact that these are struggles that most of us face and that God is gracious,” Baker said, “and that no matter if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety or any myriad of things … it is okay to be human and experience these things. We don’t have to hide from them.” The story takes an honest look at how people struggle, and how God offers them the hope and comfort they are seeking.
Tickets for Whales Outside the Window can be purchased here.