Play based on southern Illinois now playing in Carbondale

Play based on southern Illinois now playing in Carbondale

A play that has been featured worldwide and is based on a small town in the Heartland is returning to its roots.

The first local performance of the 'Taste of Sunrise' is taking place during the third and fourth weekend in July.

Based on a man named Billy from Ware, Illinois, the play chronicles Billy's (known in the play as 'Huck') childhood, explaining the difficulty involved with being deaf in the early 1900s.

The production is the second installment of a trilogy, and is told in its entirety through English and American sign language.

According to Director Kevin Purcell, the playwright Susan Zeder met Clovis Eudy and his family in Ware while passing through in 1980.

The group sat on the porch of the Eudys' shop (accurately named 'The Store') which was the only store in the small town, and eventually inquired on Billy after he passed by the 'The Store'.

The Eudys ended up sharing what they knew about Billy, who was a talented upholstery artist at the time.

"As a child, he was a few years older than I was." Clovis' son Charles Eudy recalled. "and we used to play court ball in the yard, not knowing why he couldn't hear."

As the play tells the story, Billy lost his hearing when a medical procedure went wrong when he was an infant.

After the incident, rumor spread the practitioner was a witch.

After improvising communication through his childhood Billy would eventually leave Ware and learn sign language, but as of July 15, 2016 he's is in his late eighties, and still lives in town.

The play is showing at the Varsity Center for the Arts in Carbondale.

For times and ticket information, click here.

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