By Tena L. Cook, CSC Marketing Coordinator
CHADRON – The Chadron State College Theatre department is presenting two shows in the spring semester that both deal with the supernatural. “She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen opens Feb. 20 and runs through Feb. 23. “The Great Beyond” and “The Ghost of Splinter Cove,” a combined show, will be April 23-26. Tickets are free and the productions will be in the Black Box Theatre. All performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. except the Sunday 2 p.m. matinees. Tickets are required and can be reserved online.
Professor Scott Cavin invited Jennifer Poarch to be the Artist in Residence this semester after observing her work at the Post Playhouse, a summer theatre at Fort Robinson State Park west of Crawford, Nebraska. Cavin, Technical Director at the Post Playhouse, said he was impressed with Poarch’s directing, choreographing, managing, and acting over the past five
“Watching her work with actors, how they listened to her, and the patience she showed, I knew she would be a good fit for what we are doing at CSC. Her work there directly relates to our program,” Cavin said.
He said the students will benefit by learning from Poarch what it takes to succeed in theatre, both in the classroom and in outside conversations. Poarch echoed that sentiment offering her assistance to CSC students as a link in their networking efforts.
“I look forward to helping them build their confidence and enhance and improve their communication, not only on stage, but at any job and in their relationships,” Poarch said. “They’ve been friendly, giving great feedback, and they are eager to answer my questions about campus. They have a lot of talent, on and off the stage.”
Poarch managed auditions for the spring shows and will be directing and managing the rehearsals for both productions. In addition, she is teaching Stage Combat (TH 441) and Voice and Movement for the Actor (TH 327). She is certified in hand-to-hand, rapier, and quarterstaff combat for theatre. She earned what she describes as a well-rounded bachelor’s degree from Lees-McRae College including stage work, directing, and technical aspects such as lights, sound, costumes, sets, and props. Although she has taught master classes and two-week long camps, this residency will be the longest teaching engagement she has had in the last 15 years.
“It was a bonus and a blessing that it worked out this way,” Poarch said. “Chadron is a quaint little town that I will call home for four months,” Poarch said.
“She Kills Monsters” is set in 1995, in Athens, Ohio, and the imaginary land of New Landia. The lead character Agnes, 24, has lost her family becomes aware of new realizations about her family dynamics while playing a module in Dungeons and Dragons.
“It’s funny and tearful. Reality and fantasy are combined. You could call it a dramedy, a comedy with heartwarming moments. It address issues such as grief, loss, sexuality, and bullying. It’s exciting with a lot of combat,” Poarch said.
Not only did Poarch bring decades of experience with her, but Cavin took her suggestion to bring “The Ghost of Splinter Cove” and ”The Great Beyond” to campus in April. Written by Steven Dietz, who has ties to Nebraska, the plays have only been performed once, in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Poarch’s family lives. She watched the debut performance of “The Great Beyond” in the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and “The Ghost of Splinter Cove” in the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, where she will work in May after completing her commitment at CSC.
Poarch said the plot of “The Great Beyond” involves two adult sisters who are dealing with the loss of their father. The partner of one of the sisters conducts a séance to try to contact the spirt of their dead father. In “The Ghost of Splinter Cove,” the children of the adults upstairs in “The Great Beyond,” are playing in the basement, pretending they are on a camping trip, telling mysterious stories.
She Kills Monsters
Agnes: Courtney Smith, Rock Springs, Wyo.
Tilly: Shanie Hollenbeck, Estelline, S.D.
Chuck: Jarret Buchholz, Arnold, Neb.
Miles: Zack Wellnitz, Rushville, Neb.
Kaliope: Mikayla Ames, Chadron
Lilith: Brittney Palmer, Chadron
Orcus: Levi O'Dell, Piedmont, Neb.
Vera: Cynthia Clark, Scottsbluff, Neb.
Evil Gabby: Taylee Neefe, Hemingford, Neb.
Evil Tina: Alyssa Jensen, Spearfish, S.D.
Narrator/Farrah the Fairy: Jacob Jensen, Tekamah, Neb.
Steve: Caleb Twite, White River, S.D.
Monsters: Konrad Behrens, Grand Junction, Colo. and Trajan Garcia, Alliance, Neb.
Stage Manager: Kyeisha Garza, Scottsbluff, Neb.
Assistant Stage Manager: Christopher Lidgett, Norfolk, Neb.
Costume Shop Manager: Brittney Peters, Rapid City, S.D.
Hair and Makeup: Casey Kukowski, Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
Dresser: Cheyenne Bacon, Ogallala, Neb.
Light Board, Sound Board, and Production Assistant: Jacqueline Dailey, Chadron
Set and Light Crew
Eric Reitcheck, CSC Staff
Courtney Smith, Rock Springs, Wyo.
Shanie Hollenbeck, Estelline, S.D.
Autumn Hartwig, Dalton, Neb.
Trajan Garcia, Alliance Neb.
Kyeisha Garza, Scottsbluff, Neb.
Ryan Arab, Carrolton, Texas
William Jaeke, Arvada, C.O.
Samuel LaRive, Hot Springs, S.D.
Chris Lidgett, Norfolk, Neb.
Jarret Buchholz, Arnold, Neb.
Zack Wellnitz, Rushville, Neb.
Levi O’Dell, Piedmont, S.D.
Caleb Twite, White River, S.D.
Madison Kinney, Gering, Neb.
Mia MacDonald, Cheyenne, Wyo.
Shanie Hollenbeck, Estelline, S.D.
Casey Kukowski, Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
Ruhammah LaGarry, Chadron, Neb.
Jodell Schulte, Scottsbluff, Neb.
Alyssa Jensen, Spearfish, S.D.
Cynthia Clark, Scottsbluff, Neb.
Daria Dart, Hastings, Neb.
Cheyenne Bacon, Ogallala, Neb.
Ezra Hare, Chadron
The Great Beyond
Monica: Shanie Hollenbeck, Estelline, S.D.
Rex: Konrad Behrens, Grand Junction, C.O.
Rene: Elizabeth Brown, Wilsonville, Neb.
Emily: Cheyenne Bacon, Ogallala, Neb.
The Ghost of Splinter Cove
Cora: Mikayla Ames, Chadron, Neb.
Sydney: Kyeisha Garza, Scottsbluff, Neb.
Nate: Coleton Bevins, Gering, Neb.
J: Trajan Garcia, Alliance, Neb.
Tobias: Ezra Hare, Chadron, Neb.
Stage Management: Courtney Smith, Rock Springs, Wyo.