Jerusalem, 1192

The University Theatre presents

Nathan the Wise

by G.E. Lessing

translated by
Edward Kemp

J. K. Curry

Scenic Designer
Bland Wade

Lighting Designer
Dean Wilcox

Costume Designer
Mary Wayne-Thomas

Sound Designer
Laura Lutkefedder*

Stage Manager
Leah Roop-Kharasch**

October 27-28, 2006 &
November 1-5, 2006



Dan Applegate*

Caroline Tanzy*

Laura Ware

Adam Humenansky*

Mike Discepolo*

Dan Li*

Brad Phillis

Ashley Spooner

J.C. Bobbitt*

* Member of The Anthony Aston Players



Technical Director
Trevor Anderson

Costume Studio Supervisor
Lisa Weller

Assistant Costume Designer
Alice Barsony

Audience Services Coordinator
Leslie Collins

Assistant Stage Managers
Wes Calkin*, Kate Dydak

Assistant Sound Designer
Katie Robey

Prop Master
Katie Bogue

Master Electrician
Kris Karstedt*

Scene Shop Assistants
Dan Applegate*, Alex Beiter*,
J. C. Bobbitt, Mike Casby*, Rachel Field,
Allison Gervasio, Drew Grindrod,
Erich Jones*, Kris Karstedt*,
Laura Lutkefedder*, Reed Pendergrass*

Scenic Artist
Rachel Field, Sissie Strope

Costume Assistants
Alyssa Alexander, Lauren Gaston*,
Hannah Guthrie, Ainsley Johnston,
Alexandra Lindheimer

Kristin Smith

Hair & Makeup Stylist
Brittni Shambaugh

Bobby Palmer

Light Board Operator
Katharine McEnery*

Sound Board Operator
Erich Jones*

Poster Design
Dave Urena

Bill Ray III, Jonathan Christman,
Leslie Spencer

Box Office Staff
Sara Elaine Armstrong, Caitlin Baumen,
Rebecca Cannon*, Stephanie Glagola,
Laura Halsey, Daniel Mullins, Susan Walters

House Manager
Bethany Novak

Publicity Managers
Allie Gervasio, Matt Gutschick, Ben Whiting

Caitlin Bauman, Margaret Gibbs,
Brittney Holms, Mary Kate Lyons

* Member of The Anthony Aston Players

Jonathan Christman
Dr. Andrew V. Ettin


In 1779 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing wrote his dramatic fable Nathan the Wise as a plea for people of all faiths
to embrace their common humanity. Lessing was motivated in part by the contemporary social problem he observed in the ill-treatment of and lack of basic civil liberties for European
Jews. He found inspiration in his close friendship with the Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (grandfather of the composer), who provided a model for the character of Nathan.

Lessing was also interested in reconciling the competing demands of faith and reason. In Lessing's view we
should be able to confirm the important principles of any religion through reason, rather than relying entirely on Divine revelation which might limit individual thought. Lessing was concerned that a strict and unreflective adherence to orthodox Christianity (or any other religion) could lead to intolerance. He worried about the harm humans can do to others when they are absolutely certain they are right and others wrong. In Lessing's often quoted words, "If God held all truth in his right hand and in his left everlasting
striving after truth, so that I should always and everlastingly be mistaken, and said to me 'Choose,' with humility I would pick the left hand and say, "Father, grant me that. Absolute
truth is for thee alone.'"

Lessing wrote Nathan the Wise in the wake of a personal tragedy (the death of his wife and new-born son) and a public controversy (his active engagement in a bitter theological debate), yet the work he created was remarkably kind-hearted and optimistic. While we may question the
efficacy of the play's simple moral (that has so far failed to eradicate ethnic and religious intolerance), we might still be interested in the attempt to address the problem and the reminder that the challenges of our time are not entirely new.
I hope that Nathan the Wise will stimulate thought and discussion, especially as we acknowledge the forces working against a happy ending and see the fable not as simply an
easy answer to a complex problem, but instead as a hopeful vision to guide our choices..


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