Knox College Repertory Theatre Term 2013

One-of-a-kind total immersion theatre course presents The Green Bird and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Feb. 28-March 9

January 28, 2013

Set Construction for Repertory Theatre Term

Knox College's unique "total immersion" theatre program -- Repertory Theatre Term -- presents The Green Bird, an 18th-century comedy by Carlo Gozzi; and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a 20th-century drama by Bertolt Brecht, in nightly rotation from February 28 through March 9 in Harbach Theatre, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, on the Knox campus in Galesburg, Illinois.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and Knox alumni, and free to all students with a current school ID. Tickets are available at the door or in advance by calling 309-341-7472.

The Green Bird opens at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, February 28, with additional evening performances at 7:30 p.m., Saturday March 2, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, and 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7; and a matinee performance at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 9.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle opens at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 1, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, and additional evening performances at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 8, and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 9.


Below, Repertory Theatre Term in 100 photos, from design through construction, rehearsal and performances.

More about the plays:

Directed by professor Elizabeth Carlin Metz, The Green Bird is in the Italian tradition of "commedia dell'arte," a genre of sketch-based comedy that originated in Italy in the 1500s. First performed in 1765, The Green Bird is a fairy tale about two siblings who set out on a journey to learn the truth about themselves, after they discover that the people who cared for them as children were not their biological parents.

"Carlo Gozzi crafted a 'fiaba' -- a fairy tale -- of twin babies spirited away from the clutches of the murderous queen to be raised by a kindly sausage seller and his wife," said Carlin-Metz. "Animals and statues come to life, while singing fruit and a musical fountain turn philosophy on its head and take an amused, and sometimes scathing, look at humanity."

"Beneath the improvised zaniness, magical transformation, and delightful illusion, Gozzi exposes the tension between order and disorder, where the rules of the game may just be utterly unreliable."

The Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by assistant professor Jeff Grace, was written in 1944 by a German playwright, Bertolt Brecht, who was living in the United States at the time. Using the structure of a play-within-a-play, Brecht tells two stories -- a poor working woman who rescues an abandoned child, and an argument over land between two groups of neighbors in the Caucasus region -- what was then Soviet Georgia -- near the end of World War II.

"While Brecht was influenced by his own perceptions of the world at the war, he draws upon two sources -- the biblical tale of King Solomon and the ancient Chinese play The Chalk Circle -- that both deal with adults fighting for possession of a child," Grace said. "The Caucasian Chalk Circle is an obvious metaphor for 'let the land go to those who care for it,' and it asks us to question the way we care for our land, our world, and those around us."

More about Repertory Theatre Term:

Knox's Repertory Theatre Term -- known by all involved as "Rep Term" -- is a "total immersion" program, in which students spend an entire ten-week term in a singe course that encompasses theatre production, history and performance. Offered every three years, it is the only undergraduate theatre program in the United States that combines academic study with all of the highly collaborative professional tasks involved in running a theatre company.

Rep Term was co-founded in 1970 by Ivan Davidson, professor emeritus of theatre; Robert Whitlatch, Robert M. and Katherine Seeley Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre; along with Peter B. Young, who taught at Knox from 1967 to 1973 and recently retired from the theatre faculty at the University of West Florida.

In addition to producing the two plays, Repertory Theatre Term students enroll in a theatre seminar taught by professor Neil Blackadder. The seminar focuses on the history of the plays and playwrights. The students also take conservatory classes in movement with associate professor of dance Jennifer Smith, and voice classes with Carlin-Metz.

Students in the course this year are charting their progress in a blog, http://reptermxvi.blogspot.com/ Postings include video from a rehearsal and a trip to Chicago to purchase fabrics and costumes for the shows.

Knox College has invited alumni who have participated in Repertory Theatre Term to a reunion on Saturday, March 2. Information about the reunion is available from the Knox College Theatre Office, 309-341-7472. Since Repertory Theatre Term began, more than 400 Knox students have participated in the program.


The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Ensemble Cast
Sam Auch
John Bird
Sam Brownson
Allison Diamond
Rachel Fisher
Alyssa Gill
Bridget Golembiewski
Mya Kahler
Paul Kenney
Franzesca Mayer
Jmaw Moses
Neil Phelps
Missy Preston
Andrew Purvis
Steve Selwa
Avery Wigglesworth

Production crew
Director ~ Jeff Grace
Stage Manager ~ Emily Ioppolo
Assistant Stage Manager ~ Oakton Reynolds
Assistant Director/Production Assistant ~ Jordyn Stewart
Scenic/Videography Design ~ Craig Choma/Marina Capizzi
Lighting Design ~ Craig Choma/Emily Harvey
Costume Design ~ Margo Shively/Miranda Loeber
Musical Director/Designer ~ Samuel Brownson
Props Design ~ Kathleen Gullion/Emily Passarelli
Sound Design ~ John Bird/Jonathan Plotnick
Sound Board Operator ~ Jacob Schneider
Run Crew ~ Emily Antoff/Marina Capizzi/Oakton Reynolds/Jordyn Stewart

The Green Bird

Cast
Tartaglia ~ Steve Selwa
Tartagliona ~ Lena Brandis
Ninetta ~ Rose Dolezal
Renzo ~ Andrew Purvis
Barbarina ~ Emily Passarelli
Pompea ~ Paula Castaños
Calmon ~ John Bird
Brighella ~ Jmaw Moses
Truffaldino ~ Jonathan Plotnick
Smeraldina ~ Kathleen Gullion
Pantalone ~ Oakton Reynolds
Green Bird ~ Chloë Luetkemeyer
Serpentina ~ Emily Antoff
Green Bird Prince ~ Jacob Schneider
Queen ~ Mya Kahler
Prince Michael ~ Anung of the Grassy Narrows Anishinabe
Puppeteers ~ Hannah Compton/Missy Preston
Carissmo, the dog ~ Jamie Ruml
Tartaglonia's maid ~ Jo Neideroff
Barbarina's maid ~ Rachel Fisher
Palace Servants ~ Paul Kenney/Jacob Schneider/Rachel Fisher/Jo Neideroff
Lion ~ Paul Kenney
Tiger ~ Neil Phelps
Singing Apples ~ Sam Auch/Paula Castaños/Jordyn Stewart/Avery Wigglesworth
Rioba Brothers ~ Rachel Fisher/Alyssa Gill/Jamie Ruml/Jacob Schneider
Statue of Trevisio ~ Alyssa Gill
Instrumental Ensemble ~ Sam Brownson/Allison Gains/John Hewlt/Paul Lurenz III/Franzesca Mayer/Emily Harvey/Miranda Loeber

Production crew
Director ~ Elizabeth Carlin-Metz
Assistant Director ~ Emily Antoff
Stage Manager ~ Rebekah Heusel
Assistant Stage Managers ~ Allison Diamond/Jesse Mitchell
Scenic/Videography Design ~ Craig Choma/Marina Capizzi
Lighting Design ~ Craig Choma/Emily Harvey
Costume Design ~ Franzesca Mayer
Musical Director/Designer ~ Samuel Brownson
Choreography ~ Avery Wigglesworth/Chloë Luetkemeyer
Text/Dialogue Coaches ~ Emily Antoff/Jordyn Stewart
Movement Coach ~ Avery Wigglesworth
Props Design ~ Kathleen Gullion/Emily Passarelli
Sound Design ~ John Bird/Jonathan Plotnick
Sound Board Operator ~ Emily Ioppolo
Run Crew ~ Marina Capizzi/Nick Chapin/Allison Diamond/Bridget Golembiewski/Jesse Mitchell