Benson to fulfill course requirements through directing of Northwestern theatre production

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Benson to fulfill course requirements through directing of Northwestern theatre production

October 7, 2011

Northwestern Oklahoma State University speech and theatre major Kristy Benson will present her senior production of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” by Paul Zindell on Oct. 13-15 in Herod Hall Auditorium. On Oct. 13-14, the curtain opens at 7:30 p.m. with the start on Oct. 15 being 2 p.m.

Cost to attend the show is $3 for students with a current ID, $5 for employees with ID, and $7 for the general public.
The Cherokee native said this production is a drama about a family set in 1961 in the suburbs of New York. The youngest daughter Matilda (Tillie), portrayed by Jordan Lyles, Sapulpa freshman, prepares a science fair project on how radiation has affected marigolds. Complications and conflict in the story come from the various choices made by the mother Beatrice, portrayed by Becky Burke, Oilton senior.

Other cast members include Josi Hasenauer, Wallace, Neb., junior, as Ruth; Kaci Hall, Forgan freshman, as Nanny; and Sara Acosta, Woodward junior, as Janice.

The stage manager is Lauren Weiss, Anthony, Kan., sophomore.

As part of curriculum requirements for graduation, this senior capstone course requires that Benson direct and design the show. She designed the set, lighting, costumes and makeup.

Kimberly Weast, associate professor of theatre, said doing this is difficult; however, “when a senior is able to handle all aspects of a theatre production, they have a great deal of confidence and hopefully realize all they have learned while in theatre classes at Northwestern.

“A speech/theatre major who chooses to direct and design a production for his capstone requirement should be able to walk into any high school, community or church theatre and put on a theatrical production with ease,” Weast said. “A student going on into master’s work in theatre will have a great understanding about all areas of theatre and can decide on their area of expertise while being able to communicate intelligently with actors, directors and designers.”

Benson explained that having her hand in all aspects of the show has been a rewarding experience and hopes that it will help as she seeks a career in set design following graduation.