EMU prepares ‘Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812′ for spring musical

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 12:24 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Eastern Mennonite University’s theater department is preparing “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812″ for their spring musical. Members of the cast and the theater program director, Justin Poole, shared what can be expected from the performance.

“‘Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812′ is based on a little 70-page snippet from ‘Tolstoy’s War and Peace’. It is a very exciting and arousing show. It is fully immersive in a café style so there are no barriers between the audience and the actors, which is really exciting,” Poole explained.

Joseph Seitz plays the role of Pierre.

“Pierre is the illegitimate child of a Russian aristocracy that comes into a vast amount of wealth when his father dies. He is socially awkward and doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. He is a bit of an introverted shut-in but also has this very strong desire to feel the fullness and the richness of life, love and all these other things,” Seitz said.

Greta Schrag is one of the actors playing Natasha. Another actor and Schrag will alternate.

“Natasha is immediately introduced as young and in love with her fiancé. She comes to Moscow and is immediately enraptured by another man,” Schrag said.

Hannah Landis is the other actor playing Natasha.

“Something I try to bring to Natasha is a sort of passion which I feel like she addresses everything that she experiences. She experiences everything with such curiosity and energy,” Landis explained.

“Tolstoy himself was a pacifist, this is a great piece of literature. He talks about the horrors of war and the beauty of reconciliation and forgiveness. I think at this moment, that is a really important message to convey. The fact that it comes from a Russian novelist is also somehow more poignant in light of what is going on right now,” Poole said.

The show opens Mach 31 at EMU’s Studio Theater at 7 p.m. There will be shows on April 13-15 and a matinee on 4/16.

For more information on the show or to buy tickets, click here.