Seniors to experience last main stage performance with Concordia Theatre
It is the Elizabethan era and the governor Leonata throws a masked ball. Noblemen, soldiers and friends of Lenoata mingle, while a man by the name of Don Jon plans to break apart the engaged Hero, the daughter of Leonata, and Claudio, Leonata’s friend. At the same time, the characters of Beatrice and Benedick are tricked into falling in love by their peers.
Concordia puts on Shakespeare plays every four years. This year’s play, Much Ado About Nothing, is a play full of trickery, wit and love.
Rachel Honz, a senior, plays Ursula, one of Hero’s gentle waiting women. Honz said playing a role in this play provided her with a unique perspective.
“You realize that in the Elizabethan world you are the center of your own universe and you should carry yourself that way,” Honz said.
Megan Garry, a senior, designed the set for her thesis project and experienced challenges preparing for the play. When she started designing the set on paper during the first semester, Garry had to be sure the set resembled the Elizabethan period. Yet, because the play is so well known, Garry was able to incorporate her creativity while designing.
“One great thing about Shakespeare is that it’s so old and people know it,” Garry said. “You can interpret it any way you want.”
Hannah Wehlage, a senior and double major in theater art and English literature, plays Beatrice, Leonata’s niece. The role is her thesis project.
“Beatrice is a dream role of mine,” Wehlage said. “In a world where a lot of Shakespearean women are relatively flat, Beatrice is brilliant… she has got this fire in her and a quick wit.”
Much Ado About Nothing is the last mainstage production in Concordia Theatre this year, which creates a whirlwind of emotions for the seniors performing.
“(Concordia Theatre) has been my home for the past four years. It’s helped me grow in ways I’ve never imagined,” Wehlage said.
Garry said she has also grown from theater; she has learned to be flexible when things do not go exactly as planned and has learned resilience.
“When one thing doesn’t work, then you just have to figure a way to work around it, or change it or bounce back from it,” Garry said.
Once they graduate, Honz, Garry and Wehlage hope to incorporate their theater skills into their careers.
Honz plans to travel across seas. In the province Henan, China, Honz was a programs director for an English camp for two summers. Now, she is set to be an English teacher in one of the vocational technical colleges in Xinyang, China.
“Hopefully I can keep my theater connection there, but teaching has always been my goal,” Honz said.
Garry will return as an assistant program director at a Lutheran bible camp, North East South Dakota (NeSoDak). After that she hopes to find a career in either theater or interior design.
Wehlage plans on pursuing her dream in acting and directing. She will eventually go to graduate school and get her M.F.A. or M.A. and a Ph.D. in Theater.
“I’m willing to see where life takes me,” Wehlage said.
This article was submitted by Kaley Sievert, contributing writer.