The Chadron State College Theatre Department has a busy year planned with four productions. The fall semester features a horror theme and Artist-in-Residence David Craven of Atlanta, Ga., assisting Theatre Professor Scott Cavin. In the spring semester, monsters and ghosts take the stage.
“Evil Dead: The Musical” will debut at Chadron State College Thursday, Oct. 3. The show which is free and open to the public, is Oct. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. in Memorial Hall’s Auditorium. Tickets are not required. Suitable for ages 14 and older due to language and violence.
In “Evil Dead: The Musical,” five college students spend the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods, accidentally unleashing an evil terror. In this comedic take on the 1980s horror franchise, characters and demons sing and dance. And, as in the three films, the character, Ash, dishes out various one-liners and fights the never-ending demons. The musical takes creative liberty with the plot lines of the “Evil Dead” movies, mixing together the characters and concepts, as well as changing the sequence of events for stage and comedic intent.
“Evil Dead: The Musical” will premiere during Theatre Day Oct. 3. About 250 high school students from 11 schools in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming will be on campus for Theatre Day sessions taught by CSC students and faculty about make-up, how to adopt a persona, games, costume design, scene writing, and set, sound and lighting design.
Craven, is directing “Evil Dead: The Musical” and “Miss Julie” in November. He is also teaching Principles of Acting (TH 134), Beginning Directing (TH 237) and overseeing rehearsals for both productions.
Cavin said he has been bringing in different artist to the theatre program the past few years to expose CSC students to professionals in theatre and help students learn about the different avenues they can explore when working in the arts.
“I met David through Jennifer Poarch when we worked together at the Post Playhouse [at Fort Robinson]. Since we are such a rural environment, it makes more sense to bring the professionals here rather than have our students try to travel for those experiences,” Cavin said.
Craven earned a bachelor’s in architecture design from Georgia Tech, but his true passion has always been in the arts and he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Directing. He owns a caroling company composed of six Christmas caroler quartets that perform in 1840s costumes for large companies, small businesses, and other gatherings around the city of Atlanta.
“I am looking forward to teaching and directing. I really wanted to do a fall show the students would love and would intrigue high school students about coming to Chadron State,” Craven said.
Cavin said it became evident during auditions for “Evil Dead: The Musical” and “Miss Julie” that CSC’s Theatre productions feature more than students studying the arts. Eight different majors were represented among new and returning students, and he said the freshman class is excellent.
“Miss Julie,” scheduled for Nov. 14-17, is about a rich man’s daughter who has an affair with a footman during a midsummer celebration. The difference in their social statuses keeps them from confessing their love publicly and eventually drives Miss Julie to suicide.
Cavin and Craven said they look forward to presenting this play because it touches on prejudices within society and it shows the good and bad sides of humanity. It is recommended for audience members 17 and older.
During the spring semester, the theatre program will present “She Kills Monsters” Feb. 20-23, and “The Great Beyond/The Ghost of Splinter Cove” April 23-26. Cavin said both shows are suitable for all ages.
All performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. except the Sunday 2 p.m. matinees.
Seat reservations are recommended for “Miss Julie” and “She Kills Monsters” in the Black Box Theatre. Admission is free, but tickets should be reserved at csc.edu/theatre/seatreservation
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Linda: Abigail Goosey of Tryon, Neb.
Ash: Zach Wellnitz of Rushville, Neb.
Annie: Taylor Thies of Rapid City, S.D.
Jake/Tree: Casey Kukowski of Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
Ed/Moose/Tree: Levi O'Dell of Sturgis, S.D.
Scott: Jarrett Buchholz of Arnold, Neb.
Shelly: Kyeisha Garza of Scottsbluff, Neb.
Cheryl: Cynthia Clark of Scottsbluff, Neb.
Knowby/Evil Spirit/Headless Woman/Tree: Caleb Twite of White River, S.D.
Stage manager: Courtney Smith of Hampton, Neb.
Assistant stage manager: Cheyenne Bacon of Ogallala, Neb. Backstage: Sam LaRive
Costume and makeup: Autumn Hartwig, Caitlin Hueftle, Jodell Schulte, Brittany Palmer, and Ezra Hare
Light board operator: Shanie Hollenbeck
Sound board operator: Chris Lidgett
Follow spots: Taylee Neefe and Cole Bevins