Summer Theater ready to launch Season 53

“Three of the four shows are new to Minot audiences. And, all of them deal with the melding of community and family which is reflective of the summer theatre experience.”
Chad Gifford, MSU Summer Theatre artistic director

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University Summer Theatre’s 53rd season is about family and community—on stage and off.

While this season intends to maintain Minot’s summer theatre tradition of offering entertaining and affordable productions to the community, it also plans to offer some new amenities such as a golf-cart shuttle from the parking lot to the Amphitheater, and free-will barbecues.

The four show season will run June 12 through July 22 at the MSU Amphitheater, and features three contemporary musicals and a new original play. The season line-up includes “Sister Act,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “One Strange Night,” and “Seussical.”

“Three of the four shows are new to Minot audiences,” MSU Summer Theatre artistic director Chad Gifford said. “And, all of them deal with the melding of community and family which is reflective of the summer theatre experience.”

The season opens with “Sister Act,” a musical based on the 1992 film of the same title. This hit musical follows Deloris Van Cartier, a night club singer who enters the witness protection program and lands in The Holy Order of the Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith. Comedy ensues as Deloris clashes with the norms of convent life, but finds a purpose when the sisters ask her to help their struggling choir prepare for an upcoming performance. The 2011 Broadway production was a critical and commercial success with over 550 performances and multiple Tony Award nominations. The show is directed by Chad Gifford, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, and additional book materials by Douglas Carter Beane. The show runs June 12-18.

Then comes “The Bridges of Madison County,” a romantic musical exploring themes of unexpected love, connection, and commitment, all taking place in a small Midwestern town. When Francesca, a married woman living a mundane existence, meets free-spirited Robert, she realizes that life has more to offer than she originally thought. “The Bridges of Madison County,” premiered on Broadway in 2014, and is based on the popular novel by Robert James Waller. Ashley Nilsen directs, with book by Marsha Norman, and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. The show runs June 25-29.

Third in the line up is the comedic farce, “One Strange Night,” written by Minot State alum Bradley Dokken. Coming off its recent world premiere at the Oshkosh Community Playhouse, enjoy a night of fast-paced, non-stop, hilarity with characters that are larger than life. Jacob Jenkins directs the play which runs July 5-9.

The final show of the season is the crowd-pleaser, “Seussical,” based on the timeless children’s stories of Dr. Seuss. Spend an evening with some of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved characters such as, the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, and lazy Mayzie. “Seussical,” is a fantastical musical experience that is sure to be fun for the entire family. Chad Gifford directs, with music, lyrics, and book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The show runs July 16-22.

The MSU Summer Theater is run by a company of approximately 30 theatre artists that work in multiple capacities such as acting, stage craft, lighting design, and box office management. The company is comprised of out of town artists, as well as local talent, some of which have been involved with Minot summer theatre for over 20 years.

“We’re a pretty unique theater,” Gifford said. “You’ve got a great view of Minot while you’re sitting under the stars. Summer theatre is a part of Minot, and Minot is a part of summer theatre.”

All performances begin at 8:30 p.m. at the MSU Amphitheater. The box office opens the evening of each performance at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are: $15 adults, $10 seniors, MSU faculty, staff, and summer students with current MSU ID, $5 all youth (18 and under). Reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations or questions, call (701) 858-3228.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 06/07/18   

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