Can you judge character traits like dignity, pride or selfishness by appearance? That’s the question director Alan Shorter examines in the play The Elephant Man. Originally penned by Bernard Pomerance, Shorter reveals the callous and challenging life of Joseph Merrick. Growing up during the Victorian era wasn’t easy for Merrick, whose figurative deformities placed him on stage to star in a side show and then later dropped him, isolated, in a London hospital. As is human nature, Merrick seeks friendship and affection but when he and a beautiful actress, Kendal, become too close, she is banned from seeing him again. It’s a story of love and abandonment in a society that values beauty over humanity. Have we evolved as a culture or do we still shun those who appear unfamiliar? Think it over when you see The Elephant Man at TCU’s Buschman Theatre. The play runs through March 4. Tickets range from $5 to $10. Call 817-257-8080.
Feb. 29-March 4, 7:30 p.m., 2012