Theatre News


ESU Theatre Season

October 13-15, 7:30 PM
October 16, 2:00 PM
Karl C. Bruder Theatre

November 30 - December 3, 7:30 PM
Karl C. Bruder Theatre

March 1-4, 7:30 PM
Karl C. Bruder Theatre

April 25-29, 7:30 PM
April 29, 2:00 PM
Ronald Q. Frederickson Theatre

For Tickets: Call 620-341-6378 or visit the Memorial Union Ticket Office on the Emporia State University campus.

SUMMER THEATRE 2016 Our 62nd season of award-winning summer theatre comes to Emporia in June and July.  The season opens with a new musical vaudeville, COMING TO AMERICA (June 15-18).  It is followed by Neil Simon's THE DINNER PARTY (June 29 - July 2); DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER (July 13-16; and, THE STINKY CHEESE MAN AND OTHER FAIRLY STUPID PLAYS (July 27-30).  As always, tickets are available from the University Ticket Office at 620-341-6387                                      

OUR SPRING 2016 graduates includes Michael Abbott (Great Bend), Elliott Brest (Tonganoxie), Emmanuel Cockrell (Junction City), Nick Coyan (Olathe), Jingyi Hua (Dalian, Liaoning, China), Elizabeth Kennell (Belton, MO), Andrew McCutcheon (Gardner), Miranda Nation (Winfield), Justin Tinker (Las Vegas, NV), Lisa Tinker (Derby) and Rochele Watson (Oak Grove, MO).

FUNDRAISER for KCACTF production of The Treehouse Effect. On Friday January 15 (before heading up north) a fundraising performance for The Treehouse Effect was presented at the Bruder Theatre.  We had 227 audience supporters and raised $3,827 for the trip to Minnesota! A generous contribution from Thomas Transfer and Storage helped to make the trip possible.

KCACTF, Region V - Festival 48 – January 2016 - ESU Theatre was well represented at the regional festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) last week in Bloomington, MN. Hosted by Normandale Community College, ESU was represented by 25 students and several members of the faculty. The March 2015 production of The Treehouse Effect by ESU Alums Mark Warner and Brandon Jensen was the featured production at the festival, performing for an audience of almost 800 at the Ames Center for the Performing Arts in Burnsville on Thursday January 21. Several other award were presented to ESU Theatre at the festival. Chris Lohkamp, theatre technical director received a Certificate of Merit for his scenic design for "The Treehouse Effect." Faculty costumer Susan Mai was awarded a commendation for her costume designs for "As You Like It." And Lisa Tinker (senior, Derby) received a Certificate of Merit for her stage management of "South Pacific." The ESU Stage Crew Showdown team was in the finals for the third straight year, but wound up in second place among the 21 teams. Team members were Ethan Crapser, Elizabeth Kennell, Tyler Lang and Andrew McCutcheon. 335 student actors in region V (Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota) auditioned for the Irene Ryan scholarship and competed early in the week. Sixty-four semifinalists emerged including four from ESU: Elliott Brest (Senior, Tonganoxie), Brandon Jensen (BFA, 2015, Salina), Nathan Dale Short (Senior, Paola) and Justin Tinker (BFA, 2015). They participated in the semifinals on Wednesday with their partners Abbi Timmermeyer (Sophomore, Wichita), Senior Miranda Nation (Winfield), Fran Opheim (Sophomore, Olathe) and Logan Wohlford (Senior, Valley Center). In awards presented at the end of the week, the company of THE TREEHOUSE EFFECT received a plaque. Evan Eisenbarth (Senior, Cassoday) won the regional set design award for his drawing and model for "The Playboy of the Western World." Nathan Dale Short was selected to perform in the Music Theatre Intensive and Lisa Tinker was the runner-up in the Stage Management initiative. After a busy and productive week, the students returned to Emporia on January 23.

Ben Pilat (BFA, 2005) presented the annual Pflaum lecture in December.  He currently teaches lighting design at Pepperdine University.

Congratulations to our December 2015 Grads - Chandler Archer-McGinnis, Adam Helmer, Brandon Jensen, Halie Luken, Justin Tinker.

Welcome to ESU Dan Matisa, our new assistant professor of Performance, History and Dramatic Literature. Dan joins us from NYC, where he most recently taught at Elon University.  A member of Actor's Equity and SAG/AFTRA, Dan received his training at the Asolo Conservatory at Florida State University.

Summer Theatre 2015 - Our 61st season

KCACTF Festival 47 ESU Theatre was well represented at the annual gathering of Region V of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.  To read more about it click here.

60th season special event
Senior Marah Melvin (Iola) presented a late night one-woman revue as a special event...part of our 60th anniversary season of summer theatre.  Entitled Miss Adelaide's Late Night Hour "The Psychology of Love," the fast paced revue in the Bruder Theatre--following the Friday July 11 performance of Too Many Cooks.

Summer Theatre 2014 - Our 60th Season
The 2014 Summer season is our sixtieth consecutive season...a record to be proud of.  We celebrated in a big way with an alumni reunion in June, special performances and the return of alums and friends for the season.  The season opened with Blithe Spirit (which was first presented in our first summer season sixty years ago), Nunsense, Too Many Cooks and The Arkansaw Bear rounded out the season.

Theatre Alums and the Super Bowl
Our alums continue to find work and show up in the most interesting places.  Throughout the holidays, Katie Amanda Keane (BFA, 1996) was featured in a Jared commercial.  The spot also ran during the Super Bowl.  Katie returned to campus in the fall of 2011 to present the George R.R. Pflaum lecture.

Another theatre alum Breon Bliss was featured in a commercial called "Together We Make Football - 2014 Super Bowl" which ran multiple times during the Super Bowl.  He will be remembered for his performances in Little Shop of Horrors, Guys and Dolls, Once Upon a Mattress and other ESU Theatre productions in the mid 90s.  In his cast biography for the Summer 1995 season he wrote that he "plans a professional acting career."

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