Since its inception in 2021, The Sound Company has strived to be more than just entertainment.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — with a production of Machinal, a theater group Sound company debuts a brand new take on an old play that feels as modern and relevant as ever.

First appearing on the stage almost a century ago in 1928, Sophie Treadwell’s expressionist play tells the story of a young woman who is pressured by societal expectations and driven to murder.

“The point of ‘Machinal’ is a play about the ways in which we create structures, both visible and invisible, that limit the ways in which women can be free and self-directed in their lives,” said Sean Naughton, director. plays and co-producer of The Sound Company’s artistic director.

Machinal’s main character, Jess Hughes, said the play is about a woman who doesn’t feel seen or heard in society.

“I think this experience is really relatable to a lot of women,” Hughes said.

Since its inception in 2021, The Sound Company has strived to be more than just entertainment.

“There’s so much entertainment in the world now, so I think one of the biggest questions we face as theater artists is ‘why is theater relevant?’ In our campaign, we wanted to engage the civic imagination to invite people to believe that they are civic agents of change in their community,” said Hughes.

The company does this by partnering with community organizations in central Ohio that focus on real-life issues and the themes of the plays being produced.

After each performance, The Sound Company works with its community partners to host a conversation around current issues in the performance space. For Machinal,” The Sound Company will partner with the Ohio Center for Sexuality Education on the first weekend of shows and the Returning Artists Guild on the second weekend to discuss the global assault on women’s rights and the need to end mass incarceration, respectively.

“At The Sound Company, we say that all theater is community theater,” Naughton explained. “What we mean by that is that all theater is really at its best when it’s addressing major issues and can speak to and point to the big ways we get along in our communities and our societies.”

Sound Company’s production of Machinal runs May 18-28 at the MadLab Theater in downtown Columbus. Tickets and schedule of sessions can be found here.

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