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Sept. 27, 2017
By Keri Daughenbaugh, media relations assistant
First-year students at Northwest Missouri State University will present the world premiere of a series of short plays and monologues written by Northwest playwriting students when the University stages its annual Freshman/Transfer Showcase Oct. 5-8.
Theatre Northwest will present the collection, titled “Landscapes of the Mind,” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5-7 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Studio Theatre at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the box office up to one hour before show time.
The Freshman/Transfer Showcase, now in its 27th year, introduces audiences to Northwest’s new theatre students, while introducing new performance majors to the people and practices of Northwest’s theatre program. This fall’s production features a cast comprised exclusively of first-year Northwest students, including six non-theatre majors or minors.
“You will see the work of all students,” Dr. Theo Ross, the production’s director and a professor of theatre at Northwest. “Freshmen students are performing work created from juniors and seniors to make for a great variety of styles this year. It’s cliché, but something for everybody is certainly true in this showcase.”
For the playwriting students, who began their task with the simple prompt of “identity,” the showcase gives them a unique opportunity to see their creations on the live stage and adds to the profession-based experience they gain at Northwest. The prompt also serves as the overarching theme of Theatre Northwest’s 2017-2018 season.
“What followed were unique works – sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant – all well worthy of inclusion in a mainstage production,” Assistant Professor of Theatre Katheryn Bilbo said. “We are proud and excited to present this collaborative production, nearly one year in the making.”
Comprising the short plays and monologues are:
Northwest Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Jim Eiswert will play the role of “The Professor” in the production. In a case of art imitating life, Eiswert’s role in the play ruminates on philosophical topics related to identity, using comedic and dramatic pieces as examples in a fictional lecture.
In addition to writing a piece for the production, Ruiz is serving as the dramaturg and wrote introductory and transition material, allowing her to experience the work of a professional dramaturg.
“This collaborative effort between class and production is one way Theatre Northwest is able to spotlight not only its first-year actors but also its creative writers, accomplished upperclassmen and recent graduates,” Bilbo said. “The project has also given graduating students a way to connect with incoming students, creating a circle of completion within the program.”
The remainder of the Theatre Northwest season includes “Rumors” by Neil Simon, Nov. 9-12; “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son, Dec. 1-2; “A Spring Evening of One-Acts,” Feb. 2-3; “Still Life with Iris” by Steven Dietz, Feb. 22-25; “Footloose – The Musical” April 5-7, and “Time Stands Still” by Donald Margulies, April 20-21.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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