About Manchester

In the News

Michael Mears

Story of World War I conscientious objectors comes to life at Manchester

Peace Studies NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Actor and playwright Michael Mears brings his one-man play, This Evil Thing, about conscription of soldiers during World War I – and those who refused to take up arms – to Manchester University.

The performance is 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 in Wine Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.

This Evil Thing is the compelling, shocking and inspiring story of two men who said no to war; a rarely told story involving a dizzying journey from a chapel in Yorkshire, England, to the House of Commons; from an English country garden to a quarry in Aberdeen; from a cell in Richmond Castle to a firing squad in France.

In January 1916, Bert Brocklesby was a young schoolteacher and preacher at his local Methodist church; and Bertrand Russell was one of the greatest philosophers of his time. With the advent of military conscription, their worlds were about to be turned upside down.

Mears portrays a gallery of characters – from conscientious objectors to army generals, from prime ministers to stretcher-bearers – with breathtaking physical and vocal dexterity. This critically acclaimed, original piece of storytelling uses verbatim testimonies and a multi-layered sound landscape. The lone actor uses just a few simple wooden props.

Manchester University has deep roots in the Church of the Brethren, a historic peace church. Established in 1948, the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution at Manchester University pioneered as the first undergraduate peace studies program in the world.

This program is brought to Manchester by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, with support from the Timothy Wayne Rieman and Gwen Radebach Rieman Fund; the Office of Religious Life, with support from the Christian Leadership Endowment Fund; and the Peace Studies Institute.

About Manchester University
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to nearly 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.

Also on March 27: Choosing Peace: Insights from Local Peacebuilding Research and Practice

March 2018