RSU Announces First Year of Theatre Productions

A trio of ghost stories in celebration of Halloween, a tribute to soldiers and their families on Veteran’s Day and a salute to William Shakespeare are among the first year of theatre productions at Rogers State University.

The new theatre program at RSU has announced its first season, which features six productions during 2005-2006.

“The focus of our first season of theatre at RSU is on presenting new scripts by emerging playwrights,” said Dr. David Blakely, assistant professor of communication and coordinator of the RSU theatre program.

RSU students, faculty and community members will produce and perform in the following productions:

“Marginalia” and “Serious Traveling,” two 10-minute plays, to be performed at 2:05 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, in Room 107 of Baird Hall on the RSU campus in Claremore. “Marginalia,” written by Kendall Rileigh, an actor and playwright who graduated from Duke University, presents the dark impulses that lie beneath a quiet evening of literary stimulation. “Serious Traveling,” written by Blakely, is the story of a folk singer and her sister who struggle with their past duets and future solos.

“Haunted Campus” is an evening of three one-act ghost stories to be held at three “haunted” locations on the RSU campus in Claremore. The plays include “A Witch’s Brew” and “A Ghost Story” by playwright John Pielmeier, who also wrote “Agnes of God.” The third play will be “The Workerman’s Ghost,” which is presently under development. Audience members will meet in the basement of the Will Rogers Auditorium and will be transported from one “haunted” location to the next, ending up at the outdoor amphitheatre located in the RSU nature reserve. The three plays will be held each evening beginning at 8:05 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 26-30. .

“Kilroy Was Here” by award-winning Kentucky playwright Constance Alexander is a “spoken opera” history of World War II told by area residents who were children during that era. The play will be presented as a tribute to present-day soldiers, veterans and their families on Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11. The production will begin at 8:05 p.m. in the Will Rogers Auditorium. .

The regional premiere of “Writer’s CafĂ©,” by Steven B. Pavelsky, will be held at 8:06 p.m. on Feb. 23-25 and March 2-4 and at 2:06 p.m. on March 5 (Sunday matinee performance) in the Will Rogers Auditorium. This full-length comedy features a cast of characters who find romance on the Internet. The playwright plans to attend the opening night of the RSU staging of his play and speak with students. He is the author of several books and plays and former mayor of Leggett, N.C., who is presently studying the art of crafting Native American flutes.

Several plays will be directed by RSU students, including members of the RSU Student Theatre Organization, at 8:06 p.m. on April 6-7 and at 2:06 p.m. on April 8 (Sunday matinee performance.) Blakely serves as faculty advisor for the Student Theatre Organization.

A “Salute to Shakespeare” will feature poems and performances by RSU students, faculty and members of the community in honor of the Bard’s 442nd birthday at 8:06 p.m. on April 21-22 in the Will Rogers Auditorium. Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and died there in 1616.

A native Oklahoman, Blakely is an accomplished playwright, having written almost two dozen dramas, comedies and musicals staged across the nation. He has experience in most aspects of theatre, including set, light and sound design.

He most recently served as assistant professor of theatre and director of the theatre program at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C. He received a law degree from Duke University, a master’s in fine arts in playwriting from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s of fine arts in theatre from the University of Oklahoma.

For more information on RSU theatre productions, or to get information about participating in the theatre productions, call Blakely at (918) 343-7521.