• The Southwestern

SWOSU theatre production: Where Words Once Were

Updated: Apr 29

The Southwestern Oklahoma State University Theatre Department has begun its production of its final fall play, “Where Words Once Were.”




By Zachary Hokeah

For The Southwestern


The drama is about a futuristic world called The City, where society has been limited to only a 1,000-word alphabet, and any other words spoken are forbidden and outlawed.


If a forbidden word is spoken into what they call “The Language,” another word from the alphabet is stricken off of the list and is considered “erased.” Only officials can be carrying pens and students are only to be borrowing pens but are required to turn their pens in at the end of the day. 


Some of the miscreants are punished by losing all their words. The perpetrators are not allowed to speak or be spoken too, much like the words that they have lost, they too will vanish into the background.


Steve Strickler, the SWOSU theatre director will be at the helm of directing “Where Words Once Were.”


Originally written as a commission from the Kennedy Center for young audiences by playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, where the playwright was asked to write a play about language. His response was instead to write about the possibility of language being taken away and limited to

only a few.


“So, it’s really about taking away people’s freedom of speech and silencing people,” Strickler said. “We are also shown the effects of protest and people fighting to get their language back. It’s just a really beautiful script.”


The play will be starring Hannah Detweiler, Dillon Propst, Grant Crews, Jackson Alexander Hawkins, and many more. Hawkins will be playing a character named Kieran, a comic relief of sorts.


“He comes across as kind of stupid,” Hawkins said. “But he’s loyal to a fault and would do anything for the people he cares about.”


The play will be presented at the SWOSU Hilltop Theatre Nov. 15-19. Times are to be announced.

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