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Original JMU play explores family, faith, forgiveness

james madison university jmuCould even the shattered pieces of our lives result in something beautiful? This question lies at the heart of Stained Glass, an original play written by James Madison University faculty member Ingrid De Sanctis.

The play explores the emotional and psychological impact of hurtful behavior by family members. De Sanctis says Stained Glass is closely connected with stories of her own life growing up as a preacher’s daughter from New Jersey like Jewels, the main character.

Performances of Stained Glass will be April 24, 25, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m., at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.

De Sanctis describes the play as “magical, quirky, wild, funny at times, heartbreaking and complicated.” Jewels returns to New Jersey for her father’s funeral in the middle of a hurricane. The storm has other plans, washing ashore skeletons, avocado trees, and an oddball cast of characters from Moses to the Little Mermaid, who join Jewels as she journeys through past and present, fantasy and truth, trying to understand her family and her faith.

JMU junior Irene Hamilton plays Jewels and performs in every scene. Hamilton is one of nine students in JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance in the production, and one of three from Harrisonburg along with Elana Swartz (TinkerBell/Sandy/Val) and Noah Heie (Pinocchio/Gabe).

Rounding out the student cast are Grace Vaughn (Mom), Rachel Kimberly (Tess), Diego Salinas (James), Emily Cyr (Cinderella/Rose/Mrs. Clifton), Katie Ciszek (Little Mermaid) and Kerry Paige (Moses).

For tickets, visit or call (540) 568-7000.

Stained Glass contains adult content and language.

augusta free press
augusta free press