With a new season of diverse productions ahead, students within the USD theater department have started working on stories they will present to the USD community during the fall semester.
The season’s first show will be The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, which will run from Sept. 26-29 on the Wayne S. Knutson Stage. Other shows for the fall season include The Story of Susanna and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The cast of The Eccentricities of a Nightingale has begun rehearsing, but new students will have countless opportunities to help with this production, as well as all the future shows, according to Theatre Chair Raimondo Genna.
“Our mission is to train students to become conscientious artists,” Genna said. “We’re also changing based on the students we have coming in. New students bring new possibilities and those unknowns can be very exciting.”
Last spring, the theater department received funding which allowed USD students to attend their productions for no charge. Genna said he hopes this attracts more USD students to the shows.
“We really want our students to see our shows not only for the educational and cultural value, but hopefully that students who see the shows, will become lifelong theatre audiences,” Genna said.
This semester the theater program will also offer playwriting as a concentration in the department for the first time.
Joseph Stollenwerk, an assistant professor, taught the playwriting course last spring, where a few plays were performed in the annual One-Act Festival.
“There can be that sort of artificial barrier of Cherry Street that sort of separates us from the rest of the campus,” Stollenwerk said. “Don’t be afraid to cross Cherry Street and check out the theatre program.”