Our Country’s Good, winner of the Laurence Olivier Play of the Year Award, will be performed at Colby College March 12 and 13. It is part of the college’s 2003-04 Theater and Dance season. Performances will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m. nightly in Strider Theater of Runnals Building on the Waterville campus. Admission is free.

Based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally (author of Schindler’s List), Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good is an historical fiction inspired by actual letters and journals of Australia’s first colonists–British marines enforcing the sentences of England’s transported felons. In 1788-89 Governor Arthur Phillip, fearing a rebellion over convict oppression and diminishing food supplies, tempts Lieutenant Ralph Clark with a possible promotion if he can show that prisoners can be reformed and cultured via the staging of a play. Since most of the cast can’t read and at least one of the leads will likely be hanged before opening night this is no easy undertaking. The Guardian said, “Our Country’s Good is a triumph… a tribute to the transforming power of drama.”

Directed by John D. Ervin, technical director of Colby’s Theater and Dance Department, Our Country’s Good is often funny and at times dark and disturbing. The play will be staged in a highly theatrical style that pays tribute to the actual men and women who endured one of the most cruel and unusual punishments ever implemented.

Our Country’s Good won the Laurence Olivier Play of the Year Award in 1988 and many other major awards. It premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1988 and opened on Broadway in 1991.

Admission is free and there will be no advance reservations. Our Country’s Good is intended for mature teens and adults. For additional information, call the box office at 207-872-3358 between 5 and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Or call 207-872-3388 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To learn more about upcoming productions, visit the Theater and Dance Web site at www.colby.edu/theater.