Mesa College Theatre Company leaves an audience contemplative with “A Number”


Keila Menjivar, Staff writer

The students of Mesa College Theatre company have once again allowed their passion to illuminate the stage at their production of “A Number.”


The production took place Mar.10-12. It was directed by George Ye and beautifully executed by lead actors Shannon Price and Sky Zuzan. “A Number,” written by Caryl Churchill, explores themes of nature versus nurture and the ethics of cloning, a topic that exploded when Dolly the Sheep, the first animal cloned from adult sheep cells, was unleashed on the world in 1996. 


The play was a compilation of five scenes, each dominated by a conversation between a father, Salter, and son. The storyline quickly captivated the audience when it let them in on the prerogative at the center of the play: the son who, Bernard 2, was a clone of the father’s original son. 


In the scenes that followed, the audience was introduced to Bernard 1, the original son, and Michael Black, another clone who was unaware of his conception and was raised in entirely different circumstances. In these scenes, the audience was invited to think about how nurture influences an individual.


Bernard 1, Bernard 2, and Michael Black shared an identical set of genes, yet they had different motivations. Bernard 1 was guided by a deeply rooted pain planted in the first few years of his life, where he lost his mother and was given up to the system by his alcoholic father, Salter. Bernard 2 was guided by a need for self discovery. He was also raised by Salter, however, Salter changed to be a better father to him than he was to Bernard 1. Michael Black, who was the only son who appeared in just one scene and was raised by different parents, appeared fulfilled. The question that begs to be asked by the end of the play is: which takes precedence in the outcome of one’s life, genetics or life experience?


The most heartwarming part of the experience was seeing the passion exuding from everyone that was part of production. Mesa College Theatre Company’s next production is a play titled “Dog Sees God,” which takes the beloved “Peanut” characters and showcases them as high schoolers, exploring the complexities that accompany growing up. It will explore themes of bullying, gender identity, and sexuality. It’s set to be as evocative as it is alluring. 


The Apolliad Theatre, where productions usually take place, is located opposite to the Merrill Douglas Stadium, on the other side of campus. First year acting student, Hailey Burgos, is in charge of publicity and is incredibly excited about “Dog Sees God.” 


“I want to get more people out here because not a lot of people know,” said Burgos. 


Her enthusiasm is reinforced by the presence of her peers and professor, George Ye, who said that theater builds community because it brings people of different backgrounds to experience something together. 


“Dog Sees God” will take place May 5-7 and May 12-14. Save the dates and experience a reminiscent live theater performance sure to leave you indulging in juicy conversation.