Nov 13, 2007

‘Rainmaker’ takes the stage by storm

by Miranda Canady

    This past week was the final week for the Liberty University Department of Theatre Arts presentation of “The Rainmaker.” The production was a stage debut for newcomers Catherine Arnold (Lizzie Curry), Brad Blackburn (Sheriff Thomas), David Steele (H.C. Curry) and Nicolas White (Jim Curry). 
    The play takes place in the West on a hot summer day in the midst of a severe drought before moving its focus into a cozy, tucked-away home where the Curry family lives. This family of four is composed of a single father, H.C., and his three grown children, Noah, Lizzie and Jim. 
    The family is in a fuss not only because of the drought but also because they are fearful that Lizzie, who is now at a marrying age, will end up an old maid. Lizzie is viewed as plain, not only by herself, but by everyone that sees her, including her family. 
    Despite her family member’s heartfelt efforts to marry her off, the rejection Lizzie receives from men causes her to struggle to find her own identity. She tries unsuccessfully to impress her crush, named File, only to have him turn her down. After a rude remark from her brother Noah, Lizzie finally accepts her future as an old maid.
    That all changes when a stranger named Bill Starbuck stumbles upon the Curry home, guaranteeing rain for a fee of $100.     Skeptical of this so-called rainmaker’s ability, Lizzie immediately pushes away the unexpected visitor while her family members embrace his stay with open arms. The family participates in many tasks that Starbuck promises are secret tricks to bring the rain. 
    Starbuck is a dreamer and views Lizzie in a different light. He spends his stay persuading Lizzie that she really is a beautiful woman. When they finally have an opportunity to be alone together, he convinces her with his persuasive words that she is not plain. For once in her life, she believes it is true. 
    About the same time, File, — Lizzie’s crush and the sheriff of the town — shows up looking for a criminal on the loose who goes by the name Bill Smith. When the truth comes out that Starbuck is really a con artist, promising rain in order to scam people for money,     Lizzie surprisingly defends him. Next comes the huge dilemma of whether to let Starbuck escape or be put in jail.
In the midst of much arguing and confusion, File’s love for Lizzie spills out. Her newfound confidence allows her to willingly accept his love, and a huge rainstorm breaks out, proving Starbuck to be correct. The storm concludes the play, leaving the audience to assume there was a happy romantic ending between File and Lizzie.
    The play tied together a love story with Western-themed music and a well-made set that proved appealing to a variety of people, attracting both students and teachers alike.
    Junior Brooke Roberts said, “The play was enjoyable to watch, and all I can say is, ‘Where can I get the soundtrack?’”
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