Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring Dance Recital

As the school year comes to a close the Spring Dance Concert will go out with a bang! Featuring a wide variety of work by faculty members Daniel Stark, Julie Kerr-Berry, guest choreographer Allison Doughty, and two of our students, Rachel Dreist and Shawn Jones-Murray. The dance concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29th and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30th in the Ted Paul Theatre. There will also be a student showcase on Sunday May 1st, featuring work choreographed by our very own students!

Abby Okoneski and Morgan Olson

Morgan Olson, Kaitlin O'Neill, Vanessa Boreland

Morgan Olson and Abby Okoneski

Emily Nelson and Rachel Dreist

Hannah Milbauer

Kristin Elsbernd

Morgan Olson

Melissa Rosenberger's Jazz Dance
The cast of Melissa Rosenberger's tap piece, 42 Cups

Dancers tap to 42 Street

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Boy Gets Girl

The year is finally winding down and it's time for our last Studio Show of the season, Rebecca Gilman's Boy Gets Girl. With a stunning cast of 7, this show is sure to impress. It's the story of a blind date gone horribly wrong. First year MFA Directing Candidate, Kristin Fox has been working with her cast for the last several weeks and is proud of the work they've done. "They each bring something different to the table and have been really open to the more organic style of directing that is my preferred way of working."

Though the Studio Shows are always pressed for rehearsal time, Fox didn't have the cast on the stage right away. "I always start with at least a week's worth of table work. I find that the time spent talking things out and crafting the characters in a safe - round table like setting creates an extra layer of richness and depth to the characters once the actors get up on their feet and start moving around the space."

And it shows! The cast is dynamic and they work extremely well together. You have 3 more chances to see this show! Tonight, Friday and Saturday are the final performances, all at 7:30 in the Andreas Theatre. See you there! :)

Caitlyn Kumpula (Theresa) and Michael Turner (Howard)

Kumpula and Isabella Barberena (Harriet)

Kumpula and Charliey Libra (Les)

Kumpula and Luke Steinborn (Tony)

Students present Shakespeare!

Here at MSU, we do 17 shows a year! 6 on the Main Stage, 4 Studio Shows, 2 Dance Concerts, 4 Highland Summer Theatre Shows and 1 Kiddie Tour. This year we thought, "Why not add another?!" Third year MFA Acting Candidate, TS McCormick decided to direct a production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, treating it as an educational opportunity for the students to delve into classical acting. With 10 weeks of rehearsal, the students spent almost one quarter of their time in the classroom, working on improving their technical understanding of acting Shakespeare's language. Perfecting blank verse isn't easy, and these students have worked incredibly hard!

Most people know this timeless story of young love, but McCormick and his cast have taken a classical piece of Elizabethan theatre and given it a modern twist. "We give you a youthful, edgy, contemporary take on this classic piece of theatre. The surreal world exists in parallel to our own, and we embrace the differences with an open heart." -TS McCormick

Logan Sulentic as Tybalt

Alex Blesi (Romeo), Alyssa Mordal (Balthasar) and Tucker Brewster Schuster (Benvolio)

Alex Blesi (Romeo)

Alyssa Mordal (Balthasar), Benjamin Merz (Abram) and Tucker Brewster Schuster (Benvolio)

Alexis Vencill as Juliet

Alexis Vencill (Juliet) and Michael Sheeks (Lord Capulet)

Samantha Fairchild (Sampson) and Rebecca Hunkins (Gregory)

The cast of Romeo and Juliet
You have one more chance to see Romeo and Juliet tonight at 7:00 in Studio 113! Don't miss it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious!"

The curtain has closed on Mary Poppins with a very successful run of sold out shows! In an attempt to draw in a wider variety of audience members, the cast tried something new this year. They serenaded MSU students at the CSU with some of the popular songs from the show!

The Cast of Mary Poppins sings "Supercalifragilisticxpialidocious"

Of course, you can say it backwards which me, you don't want to know. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Poppins flies tonight!

"Mary Poppins" is less than two hours from opening! Check out our very own Erin Horst in today's Free Press, talking about playing such an iconic role and working with the wonderfully talented children cast as Jane and Michael Banks.

Friday, April 1, 2016

It's a bird, it's a's Mary Poppins!

As opening night gets closer for the cast of Mary Poppins, Director Paul Hustoles thought it was about time Mary started taking flight! Of course she's not the only one who gets to have the fun. Bert gets to do a little flying of his own. You'll have to see the show to find out!

ZFX, a flying effects company, came in to train Matthew Stairs and Erin Horst, the cast members playing Bert and Mary. MSU Theatre has used ZFX many times before in other shows that require flying. Most recently in Beauty and the Beast during the Beast's transformation.

The ZFX team, along with some MSU students, prepare Matt Stairs (BFA) for his flight.

Practicing some flips.

Is that Matt Stairs walking upside down on the Ted Paul proscenium?!

Erin Horst (MFA) gets ready to take flight.

Just a little's higher than you think.

"Oh, this isn't so bad."

"This is fun!"
ZFX also provided workshop opportunities for theatre and dance students interested in learning how to fly!

Mary Poppins opens Thursday, April 7th at 7:30pm and plays through Sunday, April 17th. Get your tickets now because all 10 shows are nearly sold out. You can call the box office from 4-6pm Monday through Friday at 507-389-6661. Or visit us online at We hope to see you there!