Summer Is Here, and the Internships Are Sprouting!

Caleb Carver and Lindsey Oetken, "The Learned Ladies"

“School” is officially out for summer (go ahead, shout some Alice Cooper!), but Theatre Simpson company members are expanding their horizons of experience around the country. At last report (and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’ve overlooked someone), the following current or just-graduated students are keeping themselves quite busy this summer, theatrically speaking:

Emily Ledger–Santa Fe Opera (Sound/Electrics Apprentice)

Kelsey Swanson–Ford’s Theatre, Washington DC (Lighting Intern)

Tiffany Flory–Des Moines Playhouse (Education Intern), Iowa Shakespeare Experience (Actor)

Katie Rooney–Historic Valley Junction (Events Coordinator)–[Permanent position]

Meghan Vosberg–Spencer Community Theatre (Intern)

Cassandra Ring–Brownville Summer Theatre (Acting Company and Technician)

Caleb Carver–Des Moines Playhouse (Intern-May Term), Theatre Cedar Rapids (Education Intern and Assistant Director)

Sadie Ackerman–StageWest, Des Moines (Stage Manager-The Shape of Things [Jennifer Nostrala, Director])

Lindsey Oetken–Simpson Summer Theatre Institute for Youth (Intern), Destination Leader/Teaching Assistant (Simpson Summer Orientation and Simpson Colloquium)

Trevor Vaughn–Simpson Summer Theatre Institute for Youth (Intern)

Ali Simpson–Simpson Summer Theatre Institute for Youth (Intern)

Kennedy Horton–Simpson Summer Theatre Institute for Youth (Intern)

Samantha Harold-Aaron–Des Moines Playhouse (“Tracy”-Hairspray)

Working outside the walls and halls of Blank PAC is an important part of the development of each student’s experience–so important, in fact, that it is required for all majors and minors! We are pleased with all of the enthusiastic artistry that these students are putting forth, and are looking forward to hearing reports of their experiences–and war stories–at summer’s end. If you have a chance, stop by and see what they are up to!

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’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.”

Hello world!

Welcome to the new Theatre Simpson blog!