Theatre Simpson’s High School Theatre Festival

Theatre Simpson hosted its 14th annual High School Theatre Festival last week. Over 130 high school students from all over central Iowa had an opportunity to learn from current Simpson students during the all day event.

Theatre Simpson conducted fifteen workshops for the high school students to participate in.

“It is a great opportunity for area high school teachers and their students, but it also is a great educational experience for our own students,”  said Jennifer Nostrala, a professor of theatre arts.

Most of the workshops were conducted by Simpson students involved in Theatre Simpson.

“If our students are involved with Theatre Simpson for four years they will have had the potential to conduct one workshop each year,”  Nostrala said.  “This type of teaching experience helps them build a number of skills–including communication, leadership and organization.”


Another opening. . .


Lindsey Oetken and Caleb Carver



The Learned Ladies  opens tonight in Pote Theatre.  Directed by Tom Woldt it promises to be a rollicking good time full of surprises.  Theatre Simpson has only done two other full length Moliere plays  in the past thirty years.  One was a production of Tartuffe in the mid-80s, the other was in 1981 and it was a production of. . . The Learned Ladies.  There must be something about this play and an academic environment. It doesn’t hurt that it is a classic that offers a number of great roles for women–since there is often a plethora of talented women in the theatre department.  (No slight intend to men past or present.)


Jane Paulsen, Kate Jacobsen, and Beth Rouse


For those of you who haven’t been to a production in Pote Theatre for a while you might want to take advantage of seeing what will be the final show in the original bright green seats.  It is true, as part of the renovation of Blank Performing Arts Center, the old seats are being removed to make way for new ones.  So come see some great theatre and say goodbye to the green seats.  (The seats will be gone but not forgotten.)

The production runs tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.




Artist-in-Residence at Theatre Simpson

The Theatre Simpson Company welcomes Amber WR Miller, Artist-in-Residence and Guest Scene Designer for The Learned Ladies.  A graduate of the University of Iowa in 2002, Ms. Miller has worked professionally in the Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul areas, including as a graphics and/or project designer for Ravenswood Studio, Starbucks, Inc., and Jungle Theatre. Her theatrical designs have been seen at many notable theatres in the Twin Cities, including Park Square, Theatre-in-the-Round, Red-Eye and Southern Theatres. Last Spring, she collaborated with theatre department chair Tom Woldt on a production of Expecting Isabel at the Yellow Tree Theatre in Minneapolis.  Amber also has background in Business/Arts Management, and a BFA in Interior Design from the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. During her residency at Simpson, she has been a guest in several theatre classes, taught a workshop on computer scene design and participated in Theatre Simpson’s “Vocational Journeys in the Performing Arts” discussion series, as well as designed the set for The Learned Ladies.

You can see Amber’s work on stage this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Tickets are available through the online reservation site at