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items tagged with Jessica Benson

Eight Times Five: Ensembles, Musical Numbers, Stagecraft, Couples, Newcomers, Collegiate Performers, Minors, & Exits
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Five Inspiring Ensembles

Powerful lead performances and scene-stealing supporting turns are always welcome; one- and two-character shows can be a gas. But for my money, nothing quite beats the theatrical pleasure of watching a tightly knit ensemble in action, and the following five productions ensured that this pleasure was a continual one.

 


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Bridal Party: "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress," at the Village Theatre through April 25
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-04-20 12:00:00

Jessica Benson, Sarah Potts, Molly Todd, Kate Heiman, and Ryan Mosher-Ohr in Five Women Wearing the Same DressFive Women Wearing the Same Dress, the Alan Ball comedy that opens the Riverbend Theatre Collective's 2009 season, takes place during a wedding reception, and the production is kind of like a wedding reception - or at least, the reception for a bride and groom you don't know all that well. It might begin awkwardly, but after a few drinks, dances, and interesting encounters with people you otherwise wouldn't have met, you discover that you're having an unexpectedly fantastic time, and when it's over, you may realize that you're not quite ready to leave.


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Paradise Lost: "The Fantasticks," at Augustana College through February 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2008-02-13 08:58:38

Katie McCarthy and Ben Webb in The Fantasticks About a half hour into Augustana College's opening-night presentation of the deservedly beloved musical romance The Fantasticks, Brian Bengtson made his first appearance as the aging ham Henry, and I can't recall the last time I was so relieved to see an actor on stage.


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Send in the Clowns: "The Taming of the Shrew," at Augustana College through November 4
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-10-31 16:05:01

Brian Bengtson and Jennifer Altenbernd in The Taming of the Shrew As luck - and the Vikings' football schedule - would have it, Augustana College's opening- weekend performances of The Taming of the Shrew coincided with the school's homecoming weekend, which allowed me the chance to reconnect with some fellow theatre-department alumni both before and after Saturday night's show. At several points during the evening, we laughed 'til we cried at stories of shared friends and past Augie productions, and it wasn't until the next day that I realized why this version of Shakespeare's comedy felt like the perfect play for my mood that night: Just like college, it was all about the joy of getting up in front of people and acting like a first-class goof.


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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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