Kent State Stark Theatre presents ‘Virtual Devotion’


“Virtual Devotion” will make it’s way to the Kent State Stark Theatre Feb. 23, 2018.

Brynn Pennell

Kent State Stark’s opening night for “Virtual Devotion,” its first spring production of the year, will be Friday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

The play is a satire focused on three characters from broken families ­— Pete, Anne and Ruth — who attempt to sell their faith to non-believers in various ways to save their own souls.

The script was written by Emmy-nominated playwright and screenwriter Eric Coble in 1997.

Brian Newberg, an associate professor and theater director at Kent Stark, said he was intrigued by the play, as it spoke to our society in a number of ways.

“(The play) speaks about religion, people who need something, a dysfunctional family, a dysfunctional society through the lens of a satire and comedy, which is something theater can do,” Newberg said. “Something about satire can really speak to our ills but do it in a way that evokes the comedic part.”

Sean McCormick, a college lecturer in comparative religion at Cleveland State University, plays Rev. Pete, one of the main roles. McCormick believes the comedic value of the play sets this production apart from other plays he has been a part of.

“If you feel a disconnect and want to see a pretty hilarious satire, I would recommend coming to see ‘Virtual Devotion,’” McCormick said. “If you just want to come for the comedic value, personally I might be a little (biased), but I think the show is pretty hilarious. I have performed in mostly comedies and I think this is the funniest production I have been in so far.”

“Virtual Devotion” has been performed nationwide and was publicly recognized by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “Deliciously funny, poignant, beautiful. The play’s wit spins fireworks in all directions.”

Tickets for the show can be purchased online, by phone or in person at the box office. Will call opens one hour prior the show.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens and non-KSU students. Tickets are free of charge to all Kent State students with their student IDs.  

Performances are set to begin Feb. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m and March 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m at the Kent State Stark Theatre. Performances on Feb. 25 and March 4 at 2 p.m. will be ASL-interpreted.

Kent State Stark will hold its final theatre production of the school year, “26 Pebbles,” starting April 13 at 7:30 p.m. The play is a docudrama based on verbatim transcriptions of Newtown, Connecticut, residents recounting the tragedy of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Brynn Pennell is the regional campuses reporter. Contact her at [email protected]