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The Ballad of Maria Marten by: Lauren Sincerney

The Hardin-Simmons University Department of Theatre is hosting a play called The Ballad of Maria Marten by Beth Flintoff.

Performances will be on Feb. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Van Ellis Theatre. The play is $10 for general admission, $5 for military, alumni, outside students, seniors and free to all HSU students and faculty. The play is being directed by Dr. Victoria Spangler, associate professor of theatre, and has many HSU students as actors and also working behind the scenes as the crew. Maria Marten is recommended for viewers who are 12 years of age or older. 

The Ballad of Maria Marten is a play that is based on the events of the Red Barn Murder that happened in Suffolk, England in the 1800s. It is a compelling story that moves the audience. It tells the true story of Maria and how her life was before the murder. 

“I like that the show is deep and makes each of the characters very vulnerable and real to the audience, which helps the viewers connect with the characters on a more intimate level,” Hannah Albin, a freshman worship leadership major and theater minor from Mansfield, said. “I also like the direct monologues to the audience.I love being able to share this story and bring awareness to many themes that are prevalent in the show. I also love the cast and I am so thankful to be able to perform with them.” 

The play also takes a step away from the story of the Red Barn. Most of the time the story is focused on her murderer instead of on Maria, so the play is going to be more focused on her life before the murder. It also talks about the cycle of abuse that she and other characters go through. “It gives voices to people whose stories have not been told, like Maria,” Amber Cardenas, a sophomore musical theater major from Houston, said. 

If you are interested in seeing the Ballad of Maria Marten being told onstage by HSU students, then go and check it out. This is a great way to support the HSU theater department and its students so they can keep offering plays like this one.

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