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Meiningens to perform Recent Tragic Events, a first date blindsided by a cosmic event

Posted by Collin Ireland '13, Rockford on Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

The University of Minnesota, Morris student theatre group, Meiningens, discovers comedy in the face of tragedy in Recent Tragic Events by playwright Craig Wright. Set in a Minneapolis apartment in the wake of the September 11 attacks, Recent Tragic Events explores the roles of fate and chance in this unexpectedly funny play. Questioning the thin line between the expected and the bizarre, the characters embark on a journey of courage, humor, and perseverance in the face of crisis. Recent Tragic Events will be performed in the Humanities Fine Arts (HFA) Black Box Theatre February 10–12, 2011.

Alex McGreavey ’11, Maple Grove, serves as director. “I’m so excited for the chance to direct this great show and to work with an even greater cast and crew,” she says. “It’s refreshing to work on such an innovative script and the performances are sure to prove a shame to miss. Be prepared to laugh, to cry, and to rethink any expectations you have for the theatre.”

Kelly Gustavsson ’11, Hibbing, is the production’s stage manager. Luke Granholm ’12, Arden Hills, is technical director, as well as costume and props designer. Brittany Ottum, ’12, Eden Prairie, debuts as the set designer. Andrew Turbiville ’13, Spearfish, South Dakota, will assist Gustavsson and Granholm in their work.

The story centers on Waverly, a young advertising executive, who receives information that her twin sister, Wendy, may or may not have been in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Waverly, played by Kari Stevermer ’12, Marshall, continues her day by attempting to go on a blind date with Andrew, an airport bookstore manager, played by Alek Sievert ’12, Eagan. As Waverly awaits word on Wendy, the date is complicated by visits from her crazed-musician neighbor, Ron, played by Collin Ireland ’13, Rockford, and his girlfriend, Nancy, played by Jessie Sherman ’12, Bozeman, Montana, who also plays the sock puppet version of author Joyce Carol Oates, Waverly’s great aunt who joins the evening after her flight is canceled, leaving her stuck in Minneapolis. Adding yet another twist, author Craig Wright “breaks the fourth wall” with the stage manager character, played by Samantha Bottko ’12, Battle Lake, who addresses the audience throughout the performance.

Recent Tragic Events will be performed February 10–12 in the HFA Black Box Theatre. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $4 in advance, or $5 at the door. Free, convenient parking is available evening and weekends in all campus lots. For more information, including group rates or advance ticket sales, email the Box Office or call 320-589-6249.

Photo—Recent Tragic Events cast from left: Kari Stevermer ’12, Marshall Alek Sievert ’12, Eagan Jessie Sherman ’12, Bozeman, Montana and Collin Ireland ’13, Rockford