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Final performances of two student-directed plays set for today

March 27, 2011
News Photo
Marissa Ford, Caitlin Teters, Jason Millsap and Noby Edwards star in Drake's production of "Standing On My Knees."

Drake University Theatre presents two student-directed plays this spring, "Standing On My Knees" by John Olive and "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You" by Christopher Durang. The performances are the Senior Capstone Projects of directing majors Ben Raanan of Skokie, Ill., and Moira Nash of Des Moines. The plays will run on alternating days March 24-27.

 

"Standing On My Knees," directed by Raanan, tells the story of a woman trying to regain her life after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. The powerful, provocative play follows the struggles of a gifted poet balancing the cost of attempting to be normal against her own creativity.

"It's a beautiful piece," Raanan said. "Most shows examine characters as they discover their mental illness. We don't usually get to watch as they get their lives back."

"Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You," directed by Nash, is a dark comedy that wrestles humor from the Catholic upbringing of its main characters. Four former students of Sister Mary arrive home to face their former teacher, resulting in one of the most emotionally devastating, uproariously funny confrontations known to modern comedy.


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Carrie Gabbert plays Sister Mary Ignatius in Drake's production of "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You."

Each year in its main stage season, Drake Theatre typically selects one
student to direct a full-length production -- a chance offered by very
few universities. This season, however, Drake selected four student
directors for its main stage lineup.

"The rotating repertory schedule is the result of outstanding
proposals from senior directing majors and an attempt by the department
to create as many production opportunities as possible," said Associate
Professor of Theatre Michael Rothmayer. "To a certain extent, it is also
a test of both the creativity and collaborative nature of these
directors and their production teams."

The production process was demanding for all who were involved.
"It's been a lot more challenging than I expected, but I truly feel
prepared to work in the outside world," said Raanan.

The experience was an excellent learning opportunity and the student
director s expressed appreciation for the value they gained. "I don't
regret taking time to learn these skills," Nash said. "I needed the
correct tools to pursue this as a profession -- Drake's done that." "¨"¨

What: "Standing On My Knees"

Description: The play tells
the story of a woman trying to regain her life after being diagnosed
with schizophrenia. Written by John Olive and directed by Ben Raanan.
Contains smoking and adult content.

Where: Studio 55, 2505 Carpenter Ave.

When: Final performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 27

Cost: Free with reservation
through the Drake Fine Arts Center Box Office. Reservations may be made
in person or by calling 515-271-3841.

What: "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You"

Description: The play is a
dark comedy that wrestles humor from the Catholic upbringing of its four
main characters. Written by Christopher Durang and directed by Moira
Nash.

Where: Studio 55, 2505 Carpenter Ave.

When: Final performance at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 27

Cost: Free with reservation
through the Drake Fine Arts Center Box Office. Reservations may be made
in person or by calling 515-271-3841.