The Water Carriers

Posted on 04. Dec, 2014 by in Academics, Campus Events

Just before Butler took its leave for Thanksgiving break, it put on a one of a kind show at the Howard L Schrott Center for the Arts, being performed over the course of five days. The Water Carriers was written and directed by Michael Williams and was performed by Butler University students.

So what?

It’s just another play that Butler Theater puts on, right?



This was a show that was written specifically and exclusively for Butler Theater. The first show, on the Twelfth of November, was not just opening night — it was the world premier.

Michael Williams is part of the “Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist” program that is set up here at Butler University. Hailing from South Africa, Williams is the Managing Director of Cape Town Opera, along with being a play-write, novelist, musician, and many other forms of an artist.

Are you impressed yet? No? I’ll keep going.

The play focused on a group of refugees from Africa, sailing to America, in a crate, on a ship. The trip took longer than they had expected, and to pass the time and forget about the fact that they were isolated among each other they act out a story about the creation of life, as seen through African Folklore. The play is telling two completely separate stories, that by the end, don’t appear to be so different after all; every character had problems they were forced to deal with and ultimately confront.

Much of the story was told through dialogue, as many plays do, but it also intertwined dancing, singing, and other musical features to help guide the story along the way. While it certainly was not what this writer was expecting, the “Song of Life” and dance that accompanied it was perhaps my favorite part of the show.

In the end, the Water Carriers was a once in a lifetime experience for viewers, performers, and those behind the scenes as well. How often does an acclaimed person of theater come to your university to write and direct a play for you to perform and for your community to see? Not too often I would imagine.

Are you impressed yet? You should be.

Check out this interview with the Director!

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This, and every other story from Dawg Dish can also be found in the 2014-15 Butler Yearbook.  Click HERE to order yours now.

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About Quinn Hurley

Quinn Hurley is a first year student who enjoys things such as the Constitution, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Punk Rock, all things animals, and Coen Brothers' Films. He is majoring in English Literature. His future plans are to write comic books and screenplays, eventually winning multiple Oscars for writing and directing. Quinn hails from Muncie, Indiana where he inspired tens of people to be a better person. His favorite quote is "Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face."

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