2018 RMU Colonial Theatre preview


Garret Roberts

As another school year begins, RMU Colonial Theatre is ready to take the stage once again. Offering a total of four shows, two each semester, there is sure to be a show for everyone.

The Colonial Theatre will begin the year by featuring a production directed by RMU honors student Allison Wentzel. “Next Fall” follows the story of two gay men in a relationship — one a strong Christian and the other an atheist. As conflicts arise, the plot shines a spotlight on relationship issues between the two.

“This is the fourth honors project that I’ve been the adviser on that has been a creative theater project,” Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre, M.F.A. and associate professor of English, said. “One other was a directing project, and two were playwriting projects.”

“Next Fall” will run from Sept. 27 through Sept. 29 with each show performed at the Massey Theater at 7:30 p.m. An additional matinee will be available on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are be available at the door for $10, with a discounted price of $5 for RMU students.

The outside of Massey Theater. Photo credit: Morgan Torchia

The second show this semester will be Green Day’s “American Idiot” musical, which will be directed by a guest artist. Taking a lot of messages directly from the band’s iconic music, the show features a dark plot about the troubles facing suburban America. The show isn’t afraid to talk about sensitive issues such as drug use, alcoholism and the gritty side of war.

“Jeremy Czarniak is the director,” Burgess-Lefebvre said. “I’m working with him as a costume designer. He has taught humanities at RMU in the past, but this is his first time collaborating with the Colonial Theatre. Mr. Czarniak has an M.F.A. in directing, and works in a number of theaters in the area.”

Anthony Moretti, Ph.D., the department head of communication, interim department head of English and associate professor of communication, sees having a guest director as nothing new for the school’s theater.

“At least one, sometimes two, of the performances every year involve a guest director,” Moretti said. “It’s not unusual for us to have someone other than Ken or Barbara directing.”

“American Idiot” will be on stage from Nov. 7 through Nov. 10, with shows at 7:30 p.m. An additional show will be performed on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2:00 p.m.

The shows for next semester have not been finalized at this time; however, there are plans to have at least two shows during the spring term.