57th Summer Season open June 8 with ‘I Love to Tell the Story’

May 24, 2011

I Love to Tell the StoryESU Summer Theatre begins its 57th season on June 8 with “I Love to Tell the Story,” a live radio play about family, friendship and the stories of many of our favorite hymns.

Written by Director of Theatre Jim Bartruff, “I Love to Tell the Story” is about a retired couple doing a radio show in the parlor of their rural Nebraska home. They mix a little storytelling with some earnest hymn singing. When their long-time sponsor dies, they are forced to make some changes to their program. So, with the help of the family next door, they transform their local show into a long-running radio hit.

Samuel Green, a performer from Kansas City, will join Emporian Barb Ternes in the cast. Ternes is active in the community and serves as office manager for the Department of Communication and Theatre. Green and Ternes portray George and Ruth, the play’s central characters. The rest of the cast features ESU Theatre favorites Chris and Carolyn Lohkamp, a brother and sister from Wichita; Amanda Devine, a theatre and music student from Hutchison, appears in her fourth season of summer theatre; and, recent grad Emily Warren from Wichita plays multiple roles.

Junior Noah Mefford of Burlington and Senior Thomas Govert  of Arkansas City round out the cast. Nancy Pontius is designing the set. Guest artist Rick Rasmussen of Seattle, Wash., is designing lights and costumes. 2011 Theatre Alum Brianne Simon is the production stage manager. The three-piece band is led by Sue Seeman and features Riley Day on guitar and John Gilmore on drums.

The show runs June 8-11, and all performances are in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain. Individual tickets and season passes are available from the university box office at (620) 341-6378.

The next production will run June 22-25 under the direction of Dr. Jim Ryan. “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will” is a family comedy by Del Shores. Neil Simon’s classic comedy “Barefoot in the Park” runs July 5-9 under the direction of Theresa Mitchell. The season closes with a children’s show, “The Monster Under the Bed” by Kevin Dyer that runs July 20-23.

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