Silhouette of an Elect Lady: The tale of Emma Smith performed in silhouettes

Written by: 
Makaila Bergeson~Multimedia Journalist

“Emma Smith: Silhouette of an Elect Lady,” a play done with narration and silhouettes, will be performed on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the McKay Auditorium, with free admission. Director Michelle Blimes, a graduate finishing up her peace building certificate, felt the urge to showcase the story of Emma Smith, as well as the role of women in the church.

“This play is called ‘Emma Smith: Silhouette of an Elect Lady,’ and it tells the life story of Emma Smith,” said Blimes. “I’m doing this as my final project for the peace building certificate, and I just wanted to think about the role that women play in the church by exploring the life of Emma Smith. I admire her strength going through the hardships that she did, and her faith. I just think it’s important for women in the church to learn about other women that have played a role in the development of the church.”

Unlike most plays, this particular production will be told through the narration of still silhouettes, showing images to represent events in Emma’s life. Blimes took part in this play just a short time ago in Orem, Utah, as part of a relief society birthday celebration. She was so “moved” by the production and said she wanted to share it with those around her. “So I asked the authors of the script if I could use it here, and they were really excited to be able to share what they had done here in Hawaii,” said Blimes.

Blimes has been working on this production for the past six months, and in the last month she has brought in cast members and volunteers from the peace-building program to help out.

Actor Preston Squire, a senior in intercultural peace building from Utah, provided a backstage look at “Emma Smith: Silhouette of an Elect Lady.” Squire said, “What we’re doing is multiple silhouettes projected on three different screens. We have a bunch of different cast members who will be posing behind these screens with the lights shining on them.” He continued, “It’s been pretty cool. I have lots of fun backstage. We all have fun just staring at each other, awkwardly looking at each other when we’re standing in different poses It’s not as fast paced as people may be used to, but it’s a touching story. I mean it’s Emma Smith’s story, so people should come to get a different aspect on that. It’s a different kind of art performance.”

Stage Manager Mariah Beckwith, a sophomore in intercultural peace building from Georgia, said, “Emma Smith Silhouette shows Emma’s role in the restoration. It really shows how peaceful she was, and the impact she had with others. There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes; especially in the set pieces and the people knowing where to go and helping the little kids get to their spots. We really put our hearts into this.”

Beckwith said students should attend the performance because, “I think it would really open peoples eyes to women’s roles in the restoration of the gospel and help them understand a little bit more about the Book of Mormon, and the gospel. It looks really cool, and this is a new take on a play that I’ve never seen before, so I think it will be really interesting to watch.”

Blimes agreed with Beckwith when she said, “I think people should come see “Emma Smith: Silhouette of an Elect Lady” because we don’t learn a whole lot about the history of women in our church. I think the story of Emma Smith is something that we haven’t learned a lot about, especially members of the international church. It’s not a familiar story, and I feel like she was a very inspiring woman that people should know more about.”