Everyone knows that April showers bring May flowers. But here at Olaf, January gray days bring spring semester plays. Theater blossoms in spring on The Hill just as plentifully as flowers, and this spring is no exception. In fact, the selection of theatrical delights seems to grow continually as the weeks pass, and the menu contains something for everyone. Comedy, tragedy, really weird stuff that makes you feel cosmically unimportant – it’s all here. If I may, I’ll show you the specials.
1. Banana Sunday (“Krapp’s Last Tape” and “Rockaby”)
Who says you can’t start the meal with dessert? For the St. Olaf Theater Department’s spring show in Haugen Theater, Joanna McLarnan ’17 is directing two one-act plays by Samuel Beckett: “Krapp’s Last Tape” and “Rockaby,” and Beckett is quite a sugar rush. Expect bananas (no kidding, there will be bananas), ethereal visuals and provoking auditory experiences.
2. Nigiri Sushi (“Fresh Faces”)
In case you have not yet seen any first years this academic year, this is your chance. “Fresh Faces” is the chance for musical theater-inclined first years to show St. Olaf just how skillfully they can simultaneously sing and dance. Directed by Dario Villalobos ’18 and Gabby Dominique ’17 through DeepEnd, it’s guaranteed to be an inspiring performance.
3. Cheesy Grits (“August: Osage County”)
If the springtime is a little too sunny and relationships are going a little too well, maybe we all need to be reminded of life’s hardships. “August: Osage County” tells the story of a fractured Oklahoma family forced back together over a family death. But don’t let the gravity of the premise push you away. This award-winning play written by Tracy Letts and directed by the latest addition to the theater department faculty, Professor Michelle Gibbs, is not one to miss.
4. Chicken and Waffles (Quade One Act Festival)
Just like this classic soul food, the one acts of the Quade One Act Festival might not seem to go together at first look, but upon first taste they meld beautifully. This festival is the culminating project of the Intermediate Directing class, and there will be 11 one-acts of all kinds over three nights.
5. Steak Tartar (InBlack)
The talented members of InBlack write and perform their own original sketches. If you haven’t heard of them, waste no time in getting a ticket and finding a seat. Prepare yourself for a night of comedy and rebellious fun.
6. Caprese Salad (“Romeo vs. Juliet”)
Myswyken Salad Theater Company, the one and the same that performed “A Very Potter Musical” last semester, will be presenting an adapted version of “Romeo and Juliet.” I’ve heard there will be a sports team and cheerleaders involved.
7. Ghost Pepper Chili (“Bitch of Living”)
Becca Thavis ’17 will be directing this cabaret-style show in conjunction with the Wellness Center, tackling those elements of life that bring us all down. Laughing and crying are on the docket for the night.
8. Soup in a Bread Bowl (DeepEnd)
The oldest student-run theater company on campus, DeepEnd, offers student directors opportunities to produce shows. Though the shows have not yet been picked for the semester, keep an eye open for audition and show posters.
9. Spaghetti and Meatballs (Muse Project)
Muse Project is the newest theater company on campus, and has already successfully produced “Twelfth Night” and “Lysistrata.” The company is committed to magnifying female and femme-presenting voices onstage and off. Word has it that they are producing Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” so get ready to delve into more scansion and gender politics.