Theatreworks’ ‘The Bluest Eye’ to discuss hardship and spark emotional connections

     UCCS students can soon attend a Theatreworks’ production where 15 quilts made by student volunteers have the potential to start deep conversations and portray emotional concepts. “The Bluest Eye,” adapted by Lydia Diamond from the book by Toni Morrison will emphasize difficult and important topics when it arrives at the Ent Center on April 21. 

     “The Bluest Eye” event page says the show is about a group of young Black women living in the 1940s who struggle to navigate a cruel world full of extreme standards. They meet a woman named Pecola Breedlove, who hopes to overcome those same obstacles, as well as the difficulties of having a harsh home environment.  

     According to Lynne Hastings, the director of “The Bluest Eye,” Pecola “dreams of having blue eyes” because she feels the world would show her more love and kindness if she had them.  

     Hastings emphasized how the quilts tie back to the true definition of family, a theme explored throughout the show. “The quilts are of pattern and fabric and they are all stitched together, so family is your bond. Whether it is blood, whether it is friends, whatever, your own made family is bonds,” she said.  

     The event page warns users about adult content and language, as the show also discusses topics like racism, abuse and mature scenarios.  

     For some potential audience members, this content can get personal. “Somebody who comes to see the show could see themselves in Pecola, or in Cholley, or in Mrs. Breedlove. It could be triggering,” Hastings said of the show’s more difficult scenes. Those who have questions regarding the content warning can contact Ent Center Content Coordinator Lily DSilverio Lily DiSilverio.  

     Hastings believes that working with such emotional scenes has been both a challenging and rewarding part of directing “The Bluest Eye.” She described how the cast experienced a freeing emotional moment during one of their rehearsals that brought them closer together.  

      “That trust that you need to tell a story like this was there even though it was a very emotional journey for everyone in the room,” she said.  

“The Bluest Eye” will open at the Ent Center on April 21. Photo by Isaiah Downing.  

     According to Hastings, “The Bluest Eye” was temporarily a banned book in Missouri. She believes that the UCCS community can admire Morrison’s work from both an artistic standpoint and as a monumental educational tool.  

     Hastings also believed that students should connect with works of art that encourage uncomfortable discussions because they are the future of society and change. “It is really important that university students expose themselves to art that they even are not familiar with and are not sure they are going to like. See it anyway,” she encouraged the UCCS community. 

     “The Bluest Eye” will take place in the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater from April 21 to May 15. A variety of discussion-based events will also take place throughout this span of time.  

     Both the show and these events are free for UCCS students. Click here for more information about this show, other upcoming events and tickets sales.