West Fargo High School graduate Garrett Anderson is among student and faculty busy at the start of a new Theatre Season on campus. “This is a year of books, families, and community engagement,” said VCSU Director of Theatre, Jenni Lou Russi. Entering her fifth academic year at the university, Russi has put together a season to bridge the larger community with students at VCSU.
Opening the season with “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised),” VCSU Theatre brought Terri Egan to campus as the director for this fast-paced comedy. An English teacher and director in Enderlin, Egan is an experienced actress/director whose professional work and training includes dinner theatres around the country and The Punchline in New York City. She was most recently seen in Theatre B’s production of “Good People.” VCSU Theatre veteran performers Lindsay Lagodinski and Tony Trautman are joined by Professor Jennifer Jenness to comprise the versatile three-person cast in this hilarious attempt to recreate all of Shakespeare’s scripts in just 90 minutes. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised)” will run in Theatre 320 from Oct. 17-19 at 7:30 p. m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 19.
“The Jungle Book KIDS, yes, the Disney version, will be produced in Vangstad Auditorium Nov. 21-23. Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale will be presented in the historic Vangstad Auditorium, featuring VCSU Students performing with members of the community, including Steve Hammel, Victoria Hammel, Naomi Hanson, Gerry Huss, Emmalee Jones, Casey Kruger, Jacob Kruger, and Natilie Wilmes. Audiences will recognize some of their favorite songs from the classic animated film, including “The Bare Necessities,” and “I Wanna Be Like You.” VCSU Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Christopher Redfearn, will direct the vocal music for this production, with Dr. James Adams conducting. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. each night of the run, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 23. This show is presented by, and for, people of all ages.
As a graduating Elementary Education Major/Theatre Minor student, Garrett Anderson will direct Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach,” running Feb. 13-15, 2014 in Theatre 320. A veteran performer with VCSU Theatre, Anderson is familiar to local audiences. His most recent appearance with VCSU Theatre was the lead role in “The Affidavit” last Spring Semester. Anderson has been active on campus with many student organizations, and founded the VCSU Improv Club during his Freshman year. “Our Theatre Minors are offered a Senior Project opportunity before they graduate, bridging their course work with their intended professional aspirations, which is a unique experience that we can provide as a small program,” said Russi. “In addition to acting, Garrett has directed, stage managed, and run the boards in the tech booths on campus. He’s ready for this challenge!”
VCSU Theatre will close their 2013-14 season with one of Tennessee William’s best-known plays, “The Glass Menagerie.” Offering a glimpse into the life of a Southern family reconciling their individual demons, Williams’ four-person memory play is an American Classic. Often read by high school students, this popular script will come to life for audiences in Theatre 320 as an intimate production. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m., May 1-3, with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 3.
Season tickets are available now. For more information about these shows, season tickets, or tickets to single shows, contact the VCSU Theatre Box Office at 701-845-7320 or stop by the VCSU Bookstore on the VCSU campus.