They said it would be short, and they meant it. Clocking in at just under 45 minutes, last weekend's production of Augustana College's annual Short Play Festival was a collaboration of four student producers and featured Tony Kushner's script East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis.

When Zach Pethoud read the script of The Guys by Anne Nelson, he decided it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down. "I knew right away that if I didn't direct it locally, someone else would," he said. So the Bettendorf native gathered a cast, secured the Bettendorf High School auditorium stage, and worked hard to put together the Quad Cities premiere of the play, which will be presented weekends from December 6 to 14.

With The Primitive opening this weekend, New Ground Theatre is doing something it's never tried before, and director Chris Jansen is very excited. The Primitive "is a charming romantic comedy!" she said.

Most people hated the Interstate 74 bridge construction, but theatre actress and director Melissa McBain loved it. Being stuck on the bridge gave her an opportunity to chat regularly with journalist and author Stephen G. Bloom about Shoedog, the play he co-wrote. The piece will get its world premiere this weekend with three performances at Quad City Arts, with McBain directing.

Melissa Coulter was thrilled when she was asked to direct a show at Ghostlight Theatre. What she didn't yet know was that the show, Das Barbecü, is actually a musical comedy loosely based on Richard Wagner's four-hour Ring opera, is performed in country-western style, and calls for a fairly large cast of about 15 people.

New Ground Theatre, which this season has produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Wit and Proof, will next month stage a musical about teen suicide. Not only that, but the script of said musical was written by the company's artistic director, Chris Jansen.
When Nancy Heerens-Knudson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, her son - who was in kindergarten at the time - thought she was in the hospital for an elbow problem. He didn't know about the breast cancer until he was in sixth grade.

About a year ago, Genesius Guild members J.C. Luxton and Cait Woolley had an idea: to bring Shakespearean theatre to a more intimate space than the outdoor Lincoln Park venue in which the Guild performs every summer.

David Auburn's 2001 drama Proof isn't a torpid Pulitzer winner. Though it did win that prize along with the Kesselring and Tony awards, Proof is suspenseful from start to finish and has often been compared to a detective novel.

Even though the organization has only staged two plays in its first year, New Ground Theatre chooses to measure success by quality more than quantity. And New Ground has been rising after being started last year by a woman with an idea and funding from local organizations.

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