The McPherson College Theatre Department returns to live theatrical events with plans for a six-show season for the 2021-22 academic year.
“Every time I think about this year’s theatre season, I get giddy,” Jd. Bowman, professor of theatre at McPherson College, said. “I’m eager to host people back on campus for these theatrical events.”
McPherson College has a 100-year tradition of live theatrical events on campus and has offered a season ticket program for more than 40 years. First Nighters, the season ticket holders’ program, offers a themed meal for each production. In recent years, the department hosted more than 200 season ticket holders. However, like many things last year, theatre events at the college took on a different look.
“When the pandemic first hit, I was lost on how to adapt,” Bowman admits. “But with the help of colleague Professor Jen Pollard, we found a pivot and tried online productions, which were such a challenge because our department is not set up for film work. With the online productions, our students couldn’t hear any reaction to the work so the performances felt rather empty.”
The new season will begin without the dinner experience, however, the theatre anticipates offering meals again in the spring. The six-show season begins October 1 with “Puffs,” a comic spoof on the Harry Potter stories told by members of the Hufflepuff house. The season continues with a staged production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” the popular children’s story.
“It’s a classic! We are excited to partner, once again, with USD418 to bring elementary schools to campus to experience live theatre. This is a great, familiar story for all ages at the elementary schools,” Pollard said.
In 2022, the productions become a little more reflective.
“I wanted to create a space where people could process what society is going through,” Bowman said. “So I was drawn to shows that allowed the campus community and the greater community to sit and reflect on where we are now as people.”
In January, the college will produce the two-character musical, “The Last Five Years,” and a unique theatrical experience, “White Rabbit/Red Rabbit.” Finally, the season wraps up with “Gaslight,” a classic from 1938, and “The Laramie Project,” a documentary play.
“This year we are looking forward to welcoming our friends back to campus safely to enjoy live shows. Although we can’t offer food just yet, our season ticket-holder meals will start up again halfway through the season in 2022,” Pollard said.
The theatre is currently welcoming people to sign up for season tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 620-242-0444. For more information on the shows and dates, visit www.mcpherson.edu/programs/theatre/season