Androcles takes a comedic tack on timeless themes

Lions and Christians and Fresno Pacific University—Oh my!

Androcles and the Lion is the spring mainstage production at FPU. Performances will be at 8 p.m. March 21-23 and at 2:30 p.m. March 24 in Ashley Auditorium on the university campus. Admission is $6 for general audiences, $3 for FPU students, faculty and staff and $3 for other students and those over 65.

The play, by George Bernard Shaw, is set in Rome during the time of the gladiators and persecution of Christians. Androcles, played by David Akina, Fresno, is a mild-mannered Christian who befriends animals who finds himself about to be thrown to the lions for his religious beliefs. He and his fellow believers must decide whether their loyalties lay with God or Caesar. “Shaw’s play offers a light-hearted look at the serious subjects of belief, persecution and the implications of independent thinking versus following the party line,” said Julia Reimer, drama faculty and director.

Other cast members include Melissa Van Der Zee, Chino, as the lion; Melissa Lopez, Elk Grove, as Megaera, wife of Androcles; Daniel York, Chowchilla, as Ferrovius, the Zealot who tries to force his religion on everyone; Carolyn Miller-Lopez, Elk Grove, as Spintha, who relies on her good works to get into heaven; and Beth Wiens, Oakhurst, as Lavinia, who values integrity while accepting her human imperfections.

Call 559-453-2056 for more information.

Fresno Pacific University is an accredited Christian university ranked fifth among best values among Western universities—master’s category by U.S. News & World Report. Located on a 42-acre campus in southeast Fresno, FPU has an enrollment of 1,900 students—half in graduate and half in undergraduate programs.  The university also enrolls 12,000 students annually in its professional development studies programs offered locally and throughout the world.