A Mammoth in Harmes Way will be preformed this week by the Southern Hills Community Theater (SHCT). The play is a completely unique performance written, directed and preformed by Hot Springs area residents.
The show will start at 7:00 p.m. at the Mueller Center April 12, 13 and 14.
Though the piece is entirely fictional, writer Kathe Holen drew inspiration from her experiences in the field of archaeology. "Nothing in the play really happened, but all of it could have happened," Holen said, "with the exception of one prank involving a dead turtle sandwich."
Holen is excited to see her writing come to life, "this is a once in a lifetime thing for me, it's right up there with the Nature article."
The article she referenced was a peer-reviewed paper published in April of 2017 in the scientific journal, Nature. Holen was a coauthor on the paper. It addresses fracture patterns found in mammoth bones around San Diego. The paper provides evidence the bones may have been broken by humans using stones as hammers. The site was dated to around 130,000 years ago. The evidence presented in the paper suggests humans may have been in North America much longer than previously thought by researchers.
This paradigm shift rocked the scientific community. A Mammoth in Harmes Way mirrors Holen's experience with the discovery and addresses the issues of human egos in science.
The play certainly isn't just for scientist though. Comedy, romance and mystery are all interwoven into the plot.
The show's director, Justin Gausman, has been involved with SHCT since it's first production in the spring of 2013 and has been involved in community theater ever since. He has written three shows for the organization.
Gausman had high praises for the cast of A Mammoth in Harmes Way, "It's one of the best casts we've had in any of our productions, and we've had some pretty great casts."
Both Gausman and Holen cite last year's performance of H.M.S. Pinafore as an indicator of the potential for SHCT, and credit SHCT founder Betsy Savage for building such a strong organization.
The full credits for A Mammoth in Harmes Way are:
Beth Murray: Jordyn Carey
Carmen Oliva: Donna Behrens
Dr. Robert Hedlund: Isaiah Crossman
Dr. RL Butler: Tom Powers
Tracie McConnell: Becca Martin
Marjorie Adkins: Irene Fleming
Todd Peterson: Mark Crossman
Prof. Jeremy Shane: Dean Behrens
Sheriff Bud Boynton: David Schiefen
Hanna Easterling: Bo Bradley-Thompson
Written by Kathe Holen
Produced/Directed by Justin Gausman
Set Design/Construction by Daryl Person