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Sept. 15, 2023

Theatre Northwest opening season with evening of one-act plays

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Northwest Missouri State University’s 2023-2024 season of theater productions opens Sept. 22-23 with “A Fall Evening of One-Acts.”

The event, featuring a series of student-directed short plays, begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights in the Black Box theater, located on the lower floor of the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts on the Northwest campus.

Tickets are $3 and are available to purchase at the door up to one hour before show time. The plays, which include content for mature audiences, are:

  • “Life Line,” written by Douglas Craven and directed by Elizabeth Binkley
  • “Some Specter,” written by John Adams and directed by Grace Garrigan
  • “Thompson’s Luck,” written by Harry Greenwood Grover and directed by Adi Thompson
  • “If God Ate Fried Chicken,” written by Timothy D. Starnes and directed by Pat Immel

“The night’s theme may play around with darker topics, but comedy is not lost,” Binkley said. “Knowing what I know about my fellow directors shows I believe the audience will fall in love with at least one performance, if not all. We have such a talented group of individuals working on these productions and I believe that the art that these groups are creating needs to be shared.”

Binkley, a junior theater major with a technical and design emphasis from Excelsior Springs, Missouri, says the opportunity to direct a play appealed to her after completing a directing course at Northwest last spring. Sitting in the director’s chair for “A Fall Evening of One-Acts” has taken her away from her comfort zone behind the scenes as a technical designer.

Her play, “Lifeline,” is a comedy focused on a man who is struggling with mental health and is tested by the person on the other side of his voicemail service. She became attached to the play after researching Douglas Craven’s work and drawing a connection to its main character.

“I am taking this time to understand the perspectives and responsibilities of other production team members’ positions,” Binkley said. “I love what I do, and I hope to do it for as long as I can. Working in other areas doesn’t hurt me regardless of how scary change is.”

Similarly, Garrigan, a junior speech theatre education and English education major from Council Bluffs, Iowa, who is used to appearing on stage as an actress, said serving as a director is an empowering but scary responsibility. In “Some Specter,” a pair of teenage boys must learn how to work together to solve a mystery and other unanswered questions.

“Exploring the responsibilities of the director and challenging myself with them has been so good for me as a theatre artist,” she said. “It is also incredibly fun to work with people that I have never worked with in this specific context. I can appreciate the actors I am working with much more now because my primary job is to enjoy and work with their talent.” 

Theatre Northwest’s production schedule continues Oct. 5-8 with the 33rd annual First-Year Showcase, “Launch Day (Love Stories from the Year 2108);” “Little Women,” Nov. 9-12; and the annual Alpha Psi Omega children's show on Dec. 10. The spring schedule features the second annual Theatre Northwest Playfest Jan. 22 through Feb. 3; “Miracle on South Division Street,” March 1-2; and  “Radium Girls,” April 11-14.

For more information about theatre at Northwest, call 660.562.1321, email or visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215