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Heart-Wrenching Drama Elephant Man At MJC
Shown, Noah Thompson, left, as John Merrick and Billy Ollis as Dr. Frederick Treves in the MJC production of The Elephant Man, coming to the stage this month. Photo Contributed

The Modesto Junior College Theatre Department brings The Elephant Man, a drama by Bernard Pomerance, to the stage beginning Thursday, March 24 with a Student Preview Night at 7:30 p.m., and regular performances held March 25 and 26 and March 31 through April 2 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on April 3 at 2 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Performing and Media Arts Center on East Campus.

The Elephant Man is based on a true story about the life of Joseph Merrick, referred to in the play as John Merrick, who has a horrifying, rare skin and bone disease. After his mother dies, his family rejects him and Merrick is forced to leave home. A few years later he suggests to a showman to exhibit him and the staged story begins while he is being exhibited at a side show.

Seen as a freak by society, Merrick’s life changes when a doctor by the name of Frederick Treves agrees to take him in and care for him. He attempts to regain the dignity he lost and to live as “normal” a life as possible, after years spent as a side-show freak.

Noah Thompson will play John Merrick in the MJC production, with Billy Ollis as Frederick Treves, Dean Medek in the role of Carr Gomm and Bev Barney as Miss Kendall. The MJC production is directed by Professor Michael Lynch.

Tickets for the Student Preview Night are $5, and all other performances are $8 for students and seniors and $10 general admission. Tickets may be purchased at the Auditorium Box Office, Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., or by calling the Box Office at 575-6776 during these hours. The Box Office will also be open 90 minutes prior to curtain time for each performance. Tickets may also be purchased online at