Shaw’s witty ‘Major Barbara’ opens at ARCC

A bomb maker and a saver of souls? Can peace be achieved between the two?

Adolphus Cusins (Jarome Smith) and Major Barbara (Nikeigh Larson) share a tender moment during their soul-saving work at a Salvation Army shelter in Anoka-Ramsey Community College theater’s production “Major Barbara.” The show opens this weekend. Photo submitted

Find out in Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s newest production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Major Barbara.”

The show opens April 13 and runs for five performances through April 22.

Directed by ARCC theater faculty member Blayn Lemke, the show is a satiric comedy set in England in the early 20th century. Wealthy Lady Britomart reunites with her estranged husband, Andrew Undershaft, an arms manufacturer. They are finalizing the marriage of their daughters Barbara and Sarah. But Barbara is a young determined Salvation Army major and therein lies the conundrum. The struggle between soul-saving daughter and pro artillery father.

“The central question the play asks of the audience is: What is salvation and at what price is it gained?” Lemke said.

Shaw’s wit and humor comes shining through in this production. Although written in the early 1900s, the show’s themes of money, religion and armor are still topical today.

“This show is fast paced,” Lemke said.

The actors have received dialect coaching from Guthrie actress Jennifer Blegen. For the first time, an ARCC student Kirsten Lerohl will create a costume for the show.

“Major Barbara” will be performed April 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 at 2 p.m. Alumni night April 14. Tickets $8. Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Performing Arts Center, 11200 Mississippi Blvd. N.W., Coon Rapids. Tickets available at college bookstore or online at For more information, visit

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]