Theatre Simpson and KCACTF

Theatre Simpson has had a long history with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.  It was twenty-years ago I took four students to the regional festival, which, I seem to recall, was in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The numbers of students, faculty, and staff attending the festival has grown over the years and this year 27 students, 4 faculy, and 2 staff traveled to Ames, Iowa and Iowa State University to participate in Festival 43.  In preparation for the regional festival we held our annual KCACTF Showcase on January 14 (spring classes had only been in session for five days).  This year students performed their summer stock audition pieces and Irene Ryan audition packages, presented the remounting of Samuel Beckett’s Catastrophe, did a competition from Stage Crew Showdown, and had all of their design, stage management, and dramturgy work on display.

Check out the video about the showcase:


Greek Theatre Anyone?

This photo was taken from the house right corner.

It is all about the timing.  I knew that the seats were being removed this week, but I didn’t have a chance to get to the theatre until this morning.  I walked in to find all of the audience seating removed and a couple of workers sweeping up.  It is a stunning site.  If only we could do an impromptu Greek tragedy in this amphitheater.  However, the faculty and staff are still on break (spending time getting ready for the coming semester) and the students haven’t returned.  Maybe some of the workers would be interested in a staged reading of Oedipus.

This photo was taken from the house right corner.

While I was shooting a couple of photos the semi-truck full of new seats pulled up and when I left the driver was attempting the challenge of backing the truck into the loading dock.  While it will take him some time to get the truck into place there won’t be any time for the Greek production.  I guess we will just have to wait forty-years or so until the seats need replacing again.

Most of the seats in the auditorium are riser-mounted, but the back rows are floor-mounted. We saved a few sections of floor-mounted seats. Maybe a section or two will end up in the green room--they are the right color after all.

Theatre Simpson New Year

It is a blustery first day of 2011 here in Indianola.  The wind rattling everything that moves, but the structure of the BPAC addition can withstand anything the wind wants to dish out.

The semester came to a close a couple of weeks ago with a flurry of finals, including an exciting night of performance projects and design displays.  For a number of years now the theatre department has brought the fall semester to a close with an annual project night.  Traditionally project night has been in Barnum Studio Theatre, but this year the space was closed due to the construction.  We moved the event over to Camp Lounge in the Brenton Student Center and while it was exciting to have close to 75 people filling that space, I think we are all looking forward to Project Night Fall 2011 in the new space.

As the spring semester approaches our thoughts turn to the start of the semester, auditions for Eurydice, and travel to Ames for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.  Over 30 students, faculty, and staff will participate in the week-long festival the third week in January.  The department has participated in KCACTF for over twenty-years and we are thrilled to be taking students to the festival again this year.  The department will be busy at the Festival with various projects including performing in the Invited Scene Showcase with a scene from Festival of Short Plays 2010: Disturbing the Peace.  The scene (actually it is the complete play) invited is Samuel Beckett’s Catastrophe directed by Candace Zak.

Here’s to an exciting year of building, creating, and performing at Theatre Simpson.  (Check back here often—the theatresimpson blog has it’s own New Year’s resolution to post more regularly on life in Blank Performing Arts Center!)  Happy New Year!