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Pepperdine Fine Arts Division to Present Falling

Pepperdine University’s Fine Arts Division will present the play Falling, from Tuesday, September 25 through Friday, September 28 at 7:30 PM, and Saturday, September 29 at 2 PM and 7:30 PM at the Malibu campus’ Lindhurst Theatre.

Falling boldly explores the dynamic and complicated reality of a family with an autistic young man. When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown out of equilibrium, with everyone trying to balance what is best for the family and what is best for each of them individually. The play bravely speaks a truth about love, family, hopes, and dreams, while asking, “How do you love someone who is difficult to love?” 

Hollace Starr, associate professor of theatre at Pepperdine University, will direct the all-student cast, which features Nate Bartoshuk, Leyla Dillig, Sara Eakman, Gabrielle Meacham, and George Preston.

“It’s a privilege to work on this production, which is a semi-autobiographical work about playwright Deanna Jent’s family’s own struggle with autism. If we tell this story well, Falling should resonate for any family, both those whose lives have been touched by autism (of whom there are so very many) and those whose lives have been shaped by other struggles,” Starr explains.

There will be a panel discussion after each performance featuring representatives from various Malibu-based special needs organizations, including Malibu Special Education Foundation, Hand in Hand, and The Aurelia Foundation.

Following the Wednesday, September 26 performance, the cast will host a talkback panel discussion with Adel Najdowski, autism spectrum disorder expert and associate professor at the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Rachel Taylor, CEO of the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis, and Nick Yates, an individual diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as a young boy who no longer qualifies for the diagnosis since completing an applied behavior analysis program.  

The Malibu Special Education Foundation will host a fundraising event after the Friday, September 28 performance. Laureen Sills, the president of organization, will participate in that evening’s talkback session.

This production contains mature themes and is recommended for audiences 15 and older. Late seating is not allowed, and the show will run for 80 minutes without intermission. 

Ticket prices range between $10 and $15 and are required for attendance. For additional information about the performances, and to purchase tickets, visit the Center for the Arts website.