“Farewell To Eden,” an original play written by Mahonri Stewart, was originally performed at UVU when it debuted in 2003. It was met with sold-out shows and massive critical acclaim. This year marked the play’s 20th anniversary.
The production returned after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign. It was performed in the Ragan Theater at UVU, with some of the original cast returning, including Margie Johnson as Georgina Highett, and James Arrington returning to the director’s chair.
Set in Victorian England, the play follows Georgina, a high-strung woman with no serious interest in romance and burdened with the weight of her family’s reputation. However, several events and the arrival of a mysterious stranger create a change in her character. The play skillfully portrays the intricacies of English society, drawing inspiration from examples like Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Sense and Sensibility.
The actors fully immersed themselves in their roles, bringing us with them into a world of backstabbing and whispered conversations passed among the high class. Each actor worked together, creating a captivating performance and showing incredible emotion in every scene.
The set pieces were arranged by an expert group of craftsmen, seemingly plucked straight out of a manor sitting room or a ballroom filled with the British elite. The lighting was tastefully done, enhancing each performance on stage.
“Farewell to Eden” is a triumphant accomplishment by a member of the UVU alumni and stands as an inspiration to all UVU students. All in all, the performers delivered an enriching experience that brought to life a cast of incredible characters that had attendees guessing at every turn.