posted January 13, 2008

Hope Theatre Production is Great Lakes Region Winner

The Hope College production of "Rose and the Rime" has been judged the winner at the Great Lakes Region of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival held this weekend in Milwaukee. It was selected from nine productions presented at the festival from a five-state region. "Rose and the Rime" is now eligible for consideration at the national festival to be held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April. That decision will be made in early March after all region festivals have been held.

Senior Sarah Watkins of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. won the region festival's scenic design competition for her paper project for "A Flea in Her Ear."

Senior Dane Clark of Grand Rapids, Mich. was one of 16 finalists of the Irene Ryan Acting competition. The competition began will more than 300 competitors. Dane first did a scene from a contemporary play, "Bugs", then a comic scene from "Tartuffe" and finally a monologue from "Romeo and Juliet."

"Rose and the Rime" premiered at Hope during the 2006-07 school year. The show was written and created by Nathan Allen who was a guest artist at the college at the time. He worked with our students in creating the play. Allen is the artistic director of the House Theatre Company in Chicago. The play is set in the fictional town of Radio Falls, Mich., where it is always winter. The community has been laid to waste by the terrible Rime Witch, and is a world without flowers, apples, mail or dancing -- but with an abundance of snow, wind and ice cream. The shining beacon in the wintry gloom is a young, mute girl named Rose, who takes it upon herself to make a treacherous journey to the frozen cave of the Witch in the hope of changing her town's fate.

Several of the original cast members reprised their roles in the production: 2007 graduate Jennifer Blair of Libertyville, Ill., as Ethel May-Bell; junior Isaac Bush of Muskegon as Charlie Sutherland; senior Dane Dandridge Clark of Grand Rapids as Hank; 2007 graduate Chad Coe of Birmingham as Gary Smackhouse; 2007 graduate Kate Finkbeiner of Haslett as Adelaide Avram; 2007 graduate Youngmee Sharon Kwon of Ann Arbor and Tae-jon, South Korea, as Granny Sadie; 2007 graduate Cody Masalkoski of Lansing as Uncle Roger; senior Brandon Ruiter of Grand Rapids as Jimmy Sutherland; sophomore Brittany Stock of St. Charles, Ill., as Hazel Davis; and senior Rachel Wells of West Bend, Wis., as Rose. Joining the original cast are seniors Katherine Bramley of Northbrook, Ill., as Betty Duncan, and Jocelyn Vammer of Midland as Loretta Laroche and the Rime Witch.

The production team includes a mix of Hope students and faculty and staff. The scenic designers are faculty member Richard Smith and seniors Sarah Watkins of Bloomfield Hills and Stephanie Gavin of Granville, Ohio. Costume design is by faculty member Michelle Bombe and senior Amanda Spaanstra of Wyoming. Erik Alberg of the staff is lighting director, and senior Mike Olson of Holland is student lighting designer. Sound designer is faculty member Perry Landes. Stage manager is 2007 graduate Kate Goetzinger of Indianapolis, Ind., while the assistant stage managers are 2007 graduate Katie Eagan of Highland Park, Ill.; sophomore Jeri Fredrickson of Wheaton, Ill.; and sophomore Lenore Ojibway-Gifford of Lansing.

Senior Stephanie Lawson of Mount Vernon, Ohio, is production manager and house manager. Freshmen Christine Worden of Midland and Jackie Richards of Worthington, Ohio, are doing wardrobe. Serving on the lighting set and crew are sophomore Sara Gosses of Amherst, Ohio; sophomore Kenneth Chamberlain of Metuchen, N.J.; junior Laura Van Tassell of Spencer, Iowa; senior Jon Sprik of Grand Rapids; freshman Ben Hertel of Fennville; junior Katie Terpstra of Zeeland; and senior Sam Mirto of Fennville. Working on front-of-house crew are sophomore Candice Tindell of Lake Villa, Ill.; senior Kelly Sina of Watertown, Wis.; and senior Stacy Thomas of Clare. Senior Jon Kay of Three Rivers, who did original poster art for the production is also on the crew for the remount.

Originally from Colorado, Allen graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2000 with a BFA in acting. After his experiences in college and abroad, Allen and friends from SMU and the BritishAmericanDramaAcademy moved to Chicago to start their own theatre company. Their mission was to collaborate and create a non-elitist theatre community where they could write, act, direct, and realize their own work. Within a year and a half, they had incorporated the House Theatre Company.

Productions chosen previously for the regional festival were "Hallelujah" (1971), "Bull Moose" (1975), "Mack and Mabel" (1981), and "Tea and Sympathy" (1983) and "The Dining Room" (1988).

Several of the original cast members will be reprising their roles in the production: 2007 graduate Jennifer Blair of Libertyville, Ill., as Ethel May-Bell; junior Isaac Bush of Muskegon as Charlie Sutherland; senior Dane Dandridge Clark of Grand Rapids as Hank; 2007 graduate Chad Coe of Birmingham as Gary Smackhouse; 2007 graduate Kate Finkbeiner of Haslett as Adelaide Avram; 2007 graduate Youngmee Sharon Kwon of Ann Arbor and Tae-jon, South Korea, as Granny Sadie; 2007 graduate Cody Masalkoski of Lansing as Uncle Roger; senior Brandon Ruiter of Grand Rapids as Jimmy Sutherland; sophomore Brittany Stock of St. Charles, Ill., as Hazel Davis; and senior Rachel Wells of West Bend, Wis., as Rose. Joining the original cast are seniors Katherine Bramley of Northbrook, Ill., as Betty Duncan, and Jocelyn Vammer of Midland as Loretta Laroche and the Rime Witch.

The production team will include a mix of Hope students and faculty and staff. The scenic designers are faculty member Richard Smith and seniors Sarah Watkins of Bloomfield Hills and Stephanie Gavin of Granville, Ohio. Costume design is by faculty member Michelle Bombe and senior Amanda Spaanstra of Wyoming. Erik Alberg of the staff is lighting director, and senior Mike Olson of Holland is student lighting designer. Sound designer is faculty member Perry Landes. Stage manager is 2007 graduate Kate Goetzinger of Indianapolis, Ind., while the assistant stage managers are 2007 graduate Katie Eagan of Highland Park, Ill.; sophomore Jeri Fredrickson of Wheaton, Ill.; and sophomore Lenore Ojibway-Gifford of Lansing.

Senior Stephanie Lawson of Mount Vernon, Ohio, is production manager and house manager. Freshmen Christine Worden of Midland and Jackie Richards of Worthington, Ohio, are doing wardrobe. Serving on the lighting set and crew are sophomore Sara Gosses of Amherst, Ohio; sophomore Kenneth Chamberlain of Metuchen, N.J.; junior Laura Van Tassell of Spencer, Iowa; senior Jon Sprik of Grand Rapids; freshman Ben Hertel of Fennville; junior Katie Terpstra of Zeeland; and senior Sam Mirto of Fennville. Working on front-of-house crew are sophomore Candice Tindell of Lake Villa, Ill.; senior Kelly Sina of Watertown, Wis.; and senior Stacy Thomas of Clare. Senior Jon Kay of Three Rivers, who did original poster art for the production and will also be on the crew for the remount.

Allen is the artistic director of the House Theatre Company in Chicago, Ill., and worked with the students throughout the 2006-07 school year in creating the play. He began in October 2006, with monthly intensive workshops for actors, directors, technicians and writers which culminated in his residency in March and April of 2007.

Originally from Colorado, Allen graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2000 with a BFA in acting. After his experiences in college and abroad, Allen and friends from SMU and the British American Drama Academy moved to Chicago to start their own theatre company. Their mission was to collaborate and create a non-elitist theatre community where they could write, act, direct, and realize their own work. Within a year and a half, they had incorporated the House Theatre Company.

Productions chosen previously for the regional festival were "Hallelujah" (1971), "Bull Moose" (1975), "Mack and Mabel" (1981), and "Tea and Sympathy" (1983), and "The Dining Room (1988).

Most recently, in 2004, a scene from Hope College Theatre's fall 2003 production of "Iphigenia and Other Daughters" was chosen for presentation during the regional festival's "Evening of Scenes."

The 1988 production of "The Dining Room" was invited to the national theatre festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.