By Shelley Graham, dramaturg
June 24, 1924. The headline of the Los Angeles Times reads: “Did You Know That Famous Scotch Sprinter Will Not Run in the Olympic 100 Metres Because The Trials Are Run on Sunday.”
The famous sprinter mentioned in the headline was none other than Eric Liddell, otherwise known as “The Flying Scotsman,” and his decision not to run in the Olympic trials for his strongest event in order to honor the Sabbath was a decision that was noticed around the world. The story of his commitment to spirituality, and his spirit of competition, is told in the 1981 film, Chariots of Fire. That film was adapted for the stage in 2012, and now makes its American premiere on the Pardoe Stage at Brigham Young University.
In our 4th Wall Dramaturgy blog for this production, over the next few weeks you will learn how tricky it is to tell the story of Olympic runners on a stage that isn’t quite big enough to hold actual 100 m. races; how rewarding it is to explore the tales of faith and determination in running and religion; and how delightful it is to share those stories with the BYU community. We hope you’ll come back often in the days and weeks leading up to the opening of this American premiere, and that you’ll enjoy learning about the process of creating this athletic, theatrical spectacle.