Theatre News


Theatre 2014-2015

October 16-19
Albert Taylor Hall

November 19-22
A Moon for the Misbegotten
Bruder Theatre

March 4-7
The Treehouse Effect
Bruder Theatre

April 21-27
As You Like It
Frederickson Theatre

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."

ESU Theatre at KCACTF Region V
In January, ESU students, faculty and alums participated in Festival 46 for Region V of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.  Held at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln the week of January 19, twenty-four students participated in workshops, performances and auditions.

 At the festival, 15 teams competed in the Tech Crew Showdown. A skills competition for tech theatre students in the region, the ESU team included Lexey Jost (BFA, 2013), Brandon Jensen (junior, Salina), Landon Noll (junior, Winchester), Ethan Crapser (freshman, Overland Park), Rochele Watson (junior, Oak Grove, MO) and Samantha Lambert (junior, Rantoul). Not only did ESU win the title, they also won the "Spirit Award" presented to the school with the best team support.  Other finalists in the competition were from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Bismarck State College (ND) and Augustana College (SD).

Three ESU people were awarded Certificates of Commendation for their production work during the 2013 calendar year: Su J Mai, Costume design for Dancing at Lughnasa, Aubrey Near, Stage Management for Brownstone and Lexey Jost, Set design for reasons to be pretty. 

350 students in the region (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri) were nominated for the prestigious Irene Ryan acting auditions.  64 students were selected as semi-finalists including Junior Kylie Geiman (Louisburg) and Colter Lemmon (junior, Crawford, NE).  They performed with their partners Evan Eisenbarth, junior from Cassoday and John Lloyd Stafford III (junior, Independence).

Several ESU theatre students were selected to perform in the 10-minute play event at the festival.  Sophomore Elliot Brest was cast in Any Rock, Any Stone by Emily Nelson from the University of Missouri.  Lauren Smith, a student at the University of Central Missouri who was a member of the 2013 ESU Summer Theatre Company was also cast.  

Miranda Nation, a sophomore from Winfield was cast in Man's Best Friend by Joshua R. Johnson from Southwest Minnesota State University.  Senior Ryan Scully was selected to direct Eyes Up High by Wesley Beckemeyer from the University of Missouri.  The plays were presented January 24 in the Johnny Carson Theatre in the Lied Center at the University of Nebraska.  

As the festival drew to a close, Lexey Jost was awarded an honorable mention for her craft project…a prop rooster that she made for the ESU Theatre production of Dancing at Lughnasa.  She was one of three students cited for her outstanding work in this category.  Next year, Festival 47 will be held in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Five ESU Theatre students were awarded degrees at Commencement exercises in December 2013.  Congratulations to Roseanne Rosenbrook, Merriam (BFA); Jeannie Harper, Cherryvale (BFA); Lexey Jost, Hutchinson (BFA); Garrett Bowman, Iola (BFA); and Kelly Roberts, Hutchinson (BSE).

With pride, we wish a hearty congratulations and farewall to our May grads.  Accepting their diplomas at spring commencement in May were Cara Lohkamp, Noah Mefford, Danielle Roberts, Kangwon Song, Trinity Standridge and Andrew Walker

Once again, ESU Theatre has been honored by several accolades from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival during the past year.  Costumes from our production of THE LADIES MAN (designed by Su J Mai) were featured in the regional costume parade.  Seniors Noah Mefford and Cara Lohkamp presented a scene from our spring production of Doubt (directed by Jim Ryan) at the showcase of invited scenes.  Seven students participated in the Irene Ryan Scholarship auditions.  Of the 326 students entered in our region, 3 ESU students survived into the semifinal round of 64.  They were Noah Mefford, Andrew Walker and Jamarious WickerWalker and his partner Kangwon Song made it to the final round of 16.  Song was also awarded the second prize for his poster design for Doubt.  The Tech Crew Showdown team was in the final 4, besting 11 of the 15 teams entered in this years festival. Commendations from the Kennedy Center were presented to Su J Mai (costumes), Ross Rundell (set design), Cara Lohkamp (scene painting), Marah Melvin (performance), Jim Bartruff (directing), Noah Mefford (lighting design) and Amanda Dura (costumes). This year's festival was hosted by the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

With joy (and a little sadness) we celebrate the accomplishments of our Winter 2012 graduates.  Congratulations to Elise Blann, Newton (BFA), Jessica Gaddis, Ulysses (BFA) and Yui Watanabe, Chiba, Japan (BA).

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