Ducks, Guns, and Writer’s Block

Augustana’s Major Drama Production Kicks Off

by JENNY GREEN

This semester, the Augustana theatre sets its stage to not one, but two theatrical productions! Amy Sutton’s “A Human Write” plans on captivating audiences as does newly commissioned piece, “I Shot a Duck” by Edmonton playwright, Jason Chinn.

Since the beginning of the winter semester, twenty students from a multitude of disciplines have rehearsed intensively. Mondays and Wednesdays were set aside for “I Shot a Duck” and Tuesdays and Thursdays for “A Human Write.” On Fridays and recent weekends, participants of both shows would come together and work.

Ranging from freshmen to sixth year students who auditioned and make up the cast, they took charge by promoting the pieces, doing design and set work, and fashioning fashionable costumes. In addition, stage management has been handled by two Augustana students: Kristen Huber and Peter Ogunmodede.

As there are two productions, there are also two directors.

Kevin Sutley, director of “I Shot a Duck,” is a professor of drama here at Augustana. During the last fifteen years, he has directed fifteen Augustana productions. When questioned on  his choice of play, he answered:

“I read a new script by Edmonton playwright, Jason Chinn and I thought with some further development it would provide some excellent performance opportunities for Augustana students. So I met with Jason and we agreed that we would produce his script this winter.” 

However, according to fourth year biology and drama major, as well as director of “A Human Write,” Sammy Lowe, the revised script was shorter and didn’t have enough roles for the mass interest shown by students; thus, an additional one-act play was the answer.

Lowe stated that “Kevin and [he] had initially talked about [Lowe] assisting directing the Duck show with him, but [they] thought that including this second show would allow the chance for more people to experience an onstage role!”

In lieu of thinking of the performances as two different shows, Lowe encourages folks to look at them as “one unified experience.”

“We intended Write to serve as a sort of ‘cartoon before the movie’. Both are fun and interesting pieces, and they both combine to form one awesome theatre experience.”

Past productions that have seen the light of the Augustana stage include “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (2013) “Bonjour, Là, Bonjour” (2012), “The Vagina Monologues” (2004), and “The Love of the Nightingale” (2003).

The performances are being held in the Augustana Theatre Building and will take place this week from the 22-25. Tickets, which include both performances, are $5 for students and $15 for the community. Each night will start a 7:00 pm.

Not only is it a great way to escape the reality that finals are frighteningly close on the horizon, but as stated by Sutley, “you get two plays for the price of one.  Both deal with artistic crisis.  And both are fun and funny [and] it is great entertainment perfect for the student budget.”

As expressed by Lowe, ‘You don’t wanna miss it!’

“Human Write”

Part of “Human Write” cast poses during a full dress rehearsal. *Note: full cast is not depicted. Photo: Jenny Green

Featured photo courtesy of cast.

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