Stage and Screen presenting Pulitzer winner “J.B.” on Feb. 8-11

Students from WCU’s School of Stage and Screen take part in a dress rehearsal in preparation for their presentation of “J.B.”

“J.B.,” a modern retelling of the Biblical story of Job, will be presented by Western Carolina University’s School of Stage and Screen as part of the school’s Mainstage theatre season.

Shows are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, through Saturday, Feb. 10, and at 3 p.m. on both Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11, with all performances in Hoey Auditorium.

Written by American playwright and poet Archibald MacLeish and featuring acrobatics and aerials, the free verse play relates the story of Job with a circus tent as the setting. The roles of God and the devil, portrayed by two circus vendors named Mr. Zuss and Nickles, respectively, battle for the soul of J.B., an exceedingly wealthy American banking executive, after he is stripped of his family and wealth. The play, which premiered in New York in 1958, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and two Tony Awards.

“This hugely important and beautiful play sparked a major national conversation about the nature of the divine, the meaning of hope, and the role of the artist in society,” said Jayme McGhan, director of the School of Stage and Screen.

The campus production is directed by Claire Eye, WCU assistant professor and program coordinator for theatre.

Adrian Beck, a sophomore from Greensboro, will portray J.B., while Charlie Cannon, a senior from Greenville, will take on the role of Mr. Zuss, and Silas Waugh, a junior from Catawba, will portray Nickles.

Other members of the student cast are Caroline Ryan, sophomore, Hendersonville; Arianna Evans, junior, Statesville; Victoria Russell, junior, Lowell, Michigan; Kirsten Smitherman, senior, Indian Trail; Kate McCosh, freshman, Fayetteville; Jacob Whitlow, freshman, Roxboro; Dylan Renken, sophomore, Raleigh; Helen Miller, sophomore, Sylva; Katelin Fitts, sophomore, Raleigh; Anna Broadway, sophomore, Raleigh; Kelsey Aycock, senior, Henderson; Kelsey Willard, sophomore, Raleigh; Ally Hunter, sophomore, Greensboro; Ryan Albinus, sophomore, Concord; Caleb Gerber, sophomore, Mount Airy; Kaitlin Rose Jencks, sophomore, Asheville; Jordyn Tracy, senior, Greenville, South Carolina; and Sara Lucas, junior, Hampstead.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for WCU faculty and staff, and seniors. For tickets or information, call the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or visit