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Oct. 3, 2011
By Brittany Keithley, media relations assistant
Theatre Northwest's first lab series production of the 2011-2012 school year will explore the lonely struggle of an aging drag queen in 1960s New York.
The production opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, and runs again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, in the Black Box Theatre at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the door one hour prior to the show on a first-come, first-served basis as seating is extremely limited.
"The Madness of Lady Bright" directed by Elizabeth Bettendorf, a senior theatre and psychology major from Wahoo, Neb., begins as Leslie Bright desperately dials his telephone, hoping any of his friends will pick up. When Dial-a-Prayer is the only number that answers Lady Bright sinks deeper into a pit of self-doubt and loneliness, and he is tormented by the memories of the empty choices he has made.
"In ‘The Madness of Lady Bright', Leslie Bright is going through one of the most fundamental emotions, loneliness," Bettendorf said. "Everyone at some point in time has felt this way. The audience will enjoy this show because it is a humorous and heart-breaking look into one man's life that we all can relate to."
By participating in lab series productions, students are mentored on directing, design, technical and performance experiences while fulfilling course and program requirements. Patrick Immel, associate professor of communication, theatre and languages, coordinates the series and works directly with the emerging directors.
"This is really a great experience for all young directors," Immel said. "By the time students meet the requirements of directing for the Lab Series, they are generally accomplished in another area of theater, whether it is performance, or the tech-design area so they have been a part of many productions and saw directly how directors work.
Immel added, "Watching somebody direct is distinctly different from actually doing it, and for many students, directing a production is the capstone of their college career."
The Northwest theater program's lab series provides students with an avenue for learning the beginning steps of directing and designing. The lab series provides all students opportunities to fulfill course requirements and for self-growth within the discipline of theater as it supplements and complements the existing academic and extracurricular theater program.
"I have had the opportunity to work alongside other talented students to create concepts that we were then able to bring to life on stage," Bettendorf said. "As a senior, I feel this production has put to use all of the technical, design, performance and directing skills that I have learned since first coming to Northwest."
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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