A full performing year for Madison College


Tom Fonfara

Madison College Performing Arts puts on multiple performances every school year.

Elliott Puckette, Editor in Chief

Last year Madison College put on the eclectic musical “Bone Dance,” created in Door County, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Clybourne Park,” a modern spin-off of “A Raisin in the Sun.”

This year the Performing Arts Department is expanding by putting on three shows, as well as continuing its successful improv workshops and recruiting new members to the Performing Arts Leadership.

The Grapes of Wrath

A literary classic is translated to the Mitby stage. “The Grapes of Wrath” will need a large cast to fill over 20 roles, and a strong production team and backstage crew to manage the sprawling epic about a farming family trying to survive and find a new life after their home is repossessed during the Great Depression.

Auditions for “Grapes of Wrath” will be Sept. 20-21 at 6:00PM in the Studio Theater, Rm. A2031. Performances Nov. 4-13.

Burial at Thebes

In this recent adaptation of the classic Greek play “Antigone,” a young woman’s loyalty to her brother brings her to a tragic end, but not before changing the lives and minds of everyone around her. Director Michael Lussenden intends to set the play in 1950s Cuba and collaborate with the World Drumming Ensemble to bring a rhythm to the performances equal to the rhythm of the verse.

Auditions for “Burial at Thebes” will be on Nov. 15 and 16. Performances Jan. 27-Feb. 5.

Uncommon Women and Others

In the smaller Studio Theater on the second floor of Truax, Miranda Hawk will be directing a time-bending coming of age story of a group of intelligent young women in the 1980s having to decide their futures. They wrestle with societal expectations both feminist and anti-, their expectations of each other, and their own desires.

Auditions for “Uncommon Women and Others” will be Feb. 15-16, performances Mar. 31-Apr. 9.

Improv Workshop

As well as the many acting opportunities this year, Madison College will be continuing its improv workshops, led by Monkey Business improviser Keith Huie.
Each class is filled with classic improvisational games like “The Smartest Man in the World” and “Zip Zap Zop” and emphasizes classic improv philosophy and enhance performance skills and can be applied, to quote Huie, “to any area in your life.”

The improv workshops began during the 2016 spring semester, with around 20 students in the Level 1 workshop. Almost all of them returned to take Level 2 after spring break.

As the original group continues to meet, another Level 1 class will begin on Sept. 7 from 4:00-6:00PM and meet each Wednesday until Oct. 26 in the Studio Theater, Rm. A2031. Each workshop series lasts eight weeks (or half a semester), with a public performance during the final week.

Performing Arts Leadership

All of these events are overseen and supported by the Performing Arts Leadership, the student government organization. PAL also coordinates partnerships and field trips to the American Players Theatre and the Milwaukee Repertory, giving students the opportunity to meet and work with professionals in the theater industry at little to no cost.
Many of last year’s PAL members have graduated from Madison College, which means there a many positions and ways to get involved.

Being involved in any of these activities qualifies you to go to Indianapolis over the winter break for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), where you can attend a wide variety of theater workshops. Registration, travel, and board are paid for by Madison College.

All plays, workshops, and organizations are open to all students. Contact Miranda Hawk, [email protected] to get involved.