From “Sister Act” to “Seussical,” summer theater is here

Submitted Photos From left to right, Christian Gifford, Hunter Benjamin, Eric Clemons as the gangsters chasing after Deloris

Summer is underway as June continues on and what that means for Minot State University is the beginning of their Summer Theater’s play performances for Season 53. Starting June 12, the MSU Summer Theater will begin bringing their four summer plays to the stage.

The plays they’ve chosen are predominately musicals with three of four having music. Three of the four chosen are also new to the Minot area, something that helps the theater decide which plays to perform.

Kicking off the season will be “Sister Act,” directed by Chad Gifford. Described as a feel-good musical, the play follows disco diva Deloris Van Cartier as she is put into protective custody in a convent after witnessing a murder. What ensues is an adventure and story and music that has been nominated for five Tony Awards, including best musical.

“One of our alum from both MSU and the theater, J’Kobe Wallace, performed in this play and came back saying how fun it was to perform and how much audiences enjoyed it, so we decided to try it out,” Gifford said.

Next up on the Summer Theater stage will be “The Bridges of Madison County” on June 25. Directed by Ashley Nilsen, the play is a sweeping romance that follows Frencesca Johnson as plans to have a few peaceful days to herself with her family gone to the 1965 State Fair. Things change, though, when National Geographic photographer, Robert Kincaid shows up for directions. What follows might alter her life forever.

Submitted Photo Teresa Hargrove stars as Deloris Van Cartier in “Sister Act,” a show girl turned Nun in hiding.

The third play on the list is one written by Crosby native and veteran of the Summer Theater stage, Bradley Dokken. Directed by Jacob Jenkins, “One Strange Night” will premier on July 5 to give audiences a comedic night involving a binge-drinking mother-in-law, an obnoxious neighbor, a conniving art thief, a flirtatious woman, a bumbling police officer, and the officer’s straight laced partner.

For their final performance of the season, Chad Gifford will be directing “Seussical” on July 16. The play brings to life a variety of Dr. Seuss characters into one adventurous story told by the Cat in the Hat about Horton the Elephant who found the Whos and has to guard an egg.

All the performances will begin at 8:30 p.m. on each night they run with the box office opening an hour earlier. Tickets vary in prices according to age or where the seat is. All deck seats are $20. For regular seats, adults cost $15, seniors, current military, and MSU faculty, staff, and students cost $10, and all youth that are 18 and under cost $5.

“People should definitely call and make reservations,” said Gifford. “These plays sometimes fill up pretty quick, but even if you don’t, you can walk up. We won’t turn you away, but we might find somewhere for you to sit on the grass.”

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