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items tagged with Jeff Coussens

Capital Execution: "Dead Man Walking" at Augustana College through February 11
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-02-07 08:48:12

Kyle Roggenbuck and Brian Bengtson in With Tim Robbins' capital-punishment drama Dead Man Walking, Augustana College's theatre department has crafted a moving and impressive play, and I can't fully express how difficult that task must have been, because it really isn't a play; it's a screenplay. Scene for scene, sometimes even word for word, this 2002 piece replicates Robbins' 1995 movie to the letter, and in doing so, points out the deep chasm that exists between theatre and film. As a stage piece, Dead Man Walking shouldn't work, but director Jeff Coussens and his fiercely committed cast do everything in their power to keep you from noticing, and more often than not, succeed beautifully.


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Social Transformation: The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project Comes to Augustana College
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2007-01-31 09:43:12

Brian Bengtson & Kyle Roggenbuck rehearse Explaining the decision to turn Tim Robbins' Oscar-winning Dead Man Walking into a work for the stage, Sister Maureen Fenlon begins with six simple words: "A stage play can go anywhere." And she would like the show to be seen everywhere.

"If you want to have a transformation," Fenlon continues, "a social transformation, then minds need to be engaged so they [people] can be open to learning, and hearts have to be opened so that that learning can go further, and seep into your own soul. When people's minds and hearts have been opened through the arts, the quality of your exchange is more than a conversation, it's surely not [merely] a debate ... and here, it's a powerful art form dealing with a very powerful issue."


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Magic Moments: "The Tempest," at Lincoln Park through July 2
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-06-28 05:15:58

Emily Coussens and Pat Flaherty in "The Tempest"The Tempest is one of Shakespeare's most magical offerings - a wildly theatrical concoction set on an enchanted isle populated by fairies, sprites, and spirits, and governed by a benevolent (yet easily enraged) ruler in possession of a supernatural cloak.

Given the built-in limitations in budget and production design at Rock Island's Lincoln Park, though, no one attending Genesius Guild's current production of the play should expect to be wowed by spectacle; Ariel, for instance, won't be flying in on any invisible wires. Yet from its first scene, this Tempest is graced by spectacle of a different variety: the sort of stage alchemy that occurs when fine performers tear into rich material, and when a strong director orchestrates the actors' contributions and stage pictures with inventiveness and grace. Imagination, of course, is its own kind of magic.


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Funny Makes the World Go Around: "The Miser" at Augustana College
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-02-08 00:00:00
If you’re a Simpsons fan and have always wondered what the hateful C. Montgomery Burns would look like in the flesh, you are advised to immediately secure tickets to Augustana College’s production of The Miser, in which Brian Bengtson is giving a flawless approximation of Homer’s hysterically hateful nemesis.
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Making Something Delightful Out of "Nothing": Genesius Guild's "Much Ado About Nothing"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-07-20 00:00:00

Ah, Genesius Guild. By the time the company’s Saturday-night production of Much Ado About Nothing commenced, the quality of the show barely mattered, because I was already thoroughly amused by the audience.


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