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Kiera Publicover, Michelle Blight, and Juli Docherty Kiera Publicover, Michelle Blight, and Juli Docherty in the University Players’ production of “Morning Sacrifice,” opening Feb. 28 in the Hatch Studio Theatre.

University Players to stage drama about power and politics in education

Portia Kingsbury rules with an iron fist over the women of Easthaven Girls’ High, an Australian school on the eve of the Second World War. A “moral lapse” by a student roils the school and pits its staff in a power struggle.

The stage is set for Morning Sacrifice, presented by the University Players from Feb. 28 to March 8 in the Hatch Studio Theatre. Playwright Dymphna Cusack drew on her own experiences as a teacher, referring to the women in the show as second-class citizens, notes director Sarah Kitz.

“In addition to the traps that these women face, still familiar to so many of us — economic hardship, social respectability politics, gendered double standards — she points at the high cost of in-group fighting rather than solidarity in an oppressed class,” says Kitz. “In our contemporary take on this period drama, we are including a modern perspective which underlines the cost of performing old oppressions as a way of keeping them alive and well.”

Morning Sacrifice opens Friday with an 8 p.m. performance. The Hatch Studio Theatre is located in the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre.

Tickets can be purchased at www.universityplayers.com or by calling the box office at 519-253-3000, ext. 2808.