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DCT’s ‘Elephant Man’ examines humanity

Denton Community Theatre takes on the difficult and complex drama The Elephant Man, by Bernard Pomerance.

Sean Frith directs this tale of an intelligent freak show refugee, John Merrick, who is so deformed from a bone disorder that the 19th-century English authorities deem his appearance “indecent.”

Thanks to a weak strand of goodwill and financial support, Merrick is able to live at a London hospital under the care and study of an up-and-coming surgeon, Frederick Treves, for the rest of his life.

It is there that Treves learns that the monstrously deformed man has a deep and frail humanity, and that beauty is a fussy and disobedient thing when it emerges in a spiritual sense. Merrick encounters grace through an actress hired to interact with him, and a freak show boss comes to experience humility.

Conor O’Bryan Warren performs the title role, Matthew Schipper portrays Dr. Treves, and Amber Bryant plays Mrs. Kendal. The cast also includes Jocelyn Allgood, Penny Johnson, Cassie Henderson, Matthew Long, Bryan Thomas Patrick, Kevin Wickersham, Cecile Storrie and Johnny Williams.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday and Oct. 19-20, and 2 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 21, at the Campus Theatre, 214 W. Hickory St.

Tickets cost $20 for adults, $18 for ages 62 and older, and $10 for children and students with valid identification. For reservations, call 940-382-1915.

— Lucinda Breeding