‘The Fertile River’ seeks to educate audiences

Rylee Seavers | Broadcast Reporter

The arts can be an escape from the stresses of everyday life, providing a happily ever after at the end of a long week. But, sometimes the arts address difficult issues and seek to start conversations among audiences.

“We perceive the stories that we get a chance to experience as that’s something that happened to someone else, when in actuality, it’s us. That’s the magic. We see ourselves through the depiction of characters and the stories that are told,” said Alton Patton, producer of “The Fertile River”.

“The Fertile River”, Baylor Theatre’s current guest production, is one example of art addressing an important issue.

The play is about the eugenics movement in the 1950’s and is set in North Carolina. During this time, the Eugenics Board of North Carolina ordered the sterilization of those who were not considered “useful” or “valuable,” according to the production’s press release.

“Ultimately, we hope to allow our students to kind of get some more information about exactly what happened in North Carolina with sterilization. What happened with individuals there and all throughout the world and how people are unjustly treated and how we can give voice to those individuals,” said Tenina Stallings, Chair of Baylor Theatres’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Patton also said the play is being used as an educational tool through Baylor Theatre and will be an example of how art can inform people.

Performances will take place on Saturday and Sunday in the Mabee Theatre. Tickets are available on the Baylor Theatre website.