Theater debuts an original production Nov. 13

By: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
November 7, 2013

The Indiana State University theater department opens an original production "i am (not) a fairy tale" on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the Dreiser Theater on the Indiana State campus.

This production, directed by Associate Professor Julie Dixon, began with a group of theater students and faculty and their shared interest of exploring the life of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and two of his fairy tales -- The Snow Queen and The Ice Maiden.

Anderson is remembered as a sweet-natured and somewhat foolish entertainer-due largely to his portrayal by Danny Kaye in the movie musical "Hans Christian Andersen." In real life, Andersen led an exceedingly difficult life. While he never found real satisfaction with his ultimate success, he was able to channel his fears and disappointments into his fairy tales-tales that are still relevant today.

Members of the cast include Jessica Hall, Kennedy Lake, James Reed, Vershon Terry, Olivia Underwood and Zachary Van Meter.

Many other students and faculty members are also involved in this cutting-edge production, including Chris Berchild (media coordinator/designer), Michael Jackson (lighting/designer), Ann Warren (scenic coordinator/designer) Lauren Kreigh (costumes/designer), Bob Randolph and Kyle Guyton (sound/designer), Emery Becker and Nolan Engels (technology coordinators/assistant designers), and Hunter Arthur (props). Tabitha Wimsett, Santana Ross, Chrystal Johnson, Audra Cannon and Mary Bogutzski also have behind the scene roles in this production.

In addition to the dialogue between the actors onstage, Andersen's life will be brought to life using video and motion graphics animation.

"We've trained students in motion graphics animation and video to portray aspects of Andersen's life and his fairy tales," Berchild said.

In order to seamlessly integrate the new media into the production, the student designers have had to be present at all rehearsals. Berchild, who specializes in new media, estimates that he and the student designers spent an extra 20 hours a week training students on the software and integrating technology.

"They watch what is happening onstage," Berchild said. "We want the media to help tell the story and not compete with the actors' actions. A lot of the design was done as we went along It was experiential learning at its finest."

Student designers will leave with skills that are in demand.

"The skills they learned are the same skills professionals use to contribute in various aspects of the entertainment industry," Berchild said.

The show runs through Sunday, Nov. 17. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in Dreiser Theater, with the exception of the Nov. 17 performance, which begins at 2 p.m. This production is not suitable for children under the age of 15.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and free to any student with a student ID. Tickets will be on sale at the New Theater ticket office Nov. 11-16 from noon- 4:30 p.m. All tickets must be purchased and picked up prior to the show or at the door of Dreiser Theater. For additional information please call 812-237-3334.

 

Contact: Chris Berchild, ISU Theater Department, 812-237-3334

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or paula.meyer@indstate.edu