True events inpsire play on inter-faith struggles

George Fox University presents original play, ‘The Broken,’ as its spring drama
by George Fox University

Production explores the tensions, paradoxes and complications inherent in the clash between two cultures with different ways of expressing their faith

George Fox University will bring an ambitious original play to the stage with its presentation of the drama The Broken, scheduled in Wood-Mar Auditorium on the university’s Newberg Ore., campus in mid-April.

Performances are scheduled daily Thursday through Saturday, April 12-14, and Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, April 22, show, scheduled as a 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets – $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and George Fox alumni, and $6 for students and children under 12 – can be purchased online at

To create the play, a select group of students (both actors and designers) began the creative process by contemplating a single image last fall; by April 12, the group will have created a brand-new play together.

Based loosely on actual events, the play begins with the image of a fortified, barbed-wire fence in a foreign country. A middle-aged Bible translator stands on one side of the fence with a machete in his hands. On the other side stands a native of the country also wielding a machete. The plot centers on exploring the tensions, paradoxes and complications inherent in the clash between two cultures with different ways of expressing their faith.

Inspiration for the play came, in part, from Director Rhett Luedtke’s experiences in Papua New Guinea as a child and a trip he made to the country with a group of students in 2009.

“As a child growing up on the mission field in PNG [in the 1970s], I rode my bike around Ukarumpa and up to the local villages and schools without any fear,” recalls Luedtke, an associate professor of theatre at George Fox. “Today, the Summer Institute of Linguistics where we lived not only has a barbwire fence around its perimeter, but two perimeter roads on each side of the fence that are constantly patrolled by armed security units.”

Luedtke said the experience in 2009 triggered questions: Why the fences, the guns and the disparity between the “haves” and “have nots”? And how does faith and religion help or hinder the situation?

The Broken’s plot, characters and action in the play are not based on real people or situations. “The characters and plot were devised simply as a means for the exploration of our questions as people who love Jesus and live within the complexities of postmodernism and a global economy,” Luedtke said.

The performance features theatre (theater) major students as well as students from other majors.

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