USD production of "Of Mice and Men" to perform at festival

VERMILLION, S.D. -- “Of Mice and Men,” produced by The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre this fall, has been selected to perform at Region V of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in the Iowa Western Community College Performing Arts Center at Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Of Mice and Men” is one of only five productions in the region that was invited to perform out of 80 college and university productions that competed for the right to perform at the festival. A panel of industry professionals will judge the five invited productions and select one to advance to the national finals of KCACTF at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in April. The KCACTF is an annual event where students compete for scholarships, internships, grants and awards in acting, design, stage management, dramaturgy and playwriting. More than 1,400 students from colleges and universities in seven Midwest states participate in the festival.

In preparation for the regional competition, “Of Mice and Men” will be featured in a single performance at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on the USD campus. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for youth (12 and under) and non-USD students, and $4 for USD students. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at (605) 677-5400 or online at www.usd.edu/cfa/Theatre. The University Theatre box office will open for walk up sales on the day of performance beginning at noon.

Set in Salinas, Calif. during the Great Depression, “Of Mice and Men” focuses on George and Lennie, who have dreams of living off the “fat of the land” once they’ve earned enough money to buy their own place. The play examines George and Lennie’s struggle for survival in the face of economic hardship, discrimination and loneliness. The cast includes seniors Rob Garness (George) of Bell Fourche, S.D., and Andy Heller (Lennie) of Armour, S.D. Dan Workman of Vermillion is The Boss while Kevin Earlywine, a freshman from Rockford, Ill., is Curley. Lindsey Straw, a junior from Ralston, Neb., is Curley’s wife. Eric Adams, Omaha, Neb., is Candy, and Victor Mohamed (Crooks) and Mike Husby (Slim), both of Sioux Falls, and Paul Petersen (Carlson) of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Tyler Hudson (Whit) of South Sioux City, Neb., round out the cast. A photo of Straw and Heller is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/ofmiceandmen.jpg.

Associate Professor Charlotte Guyette is the director and Associate Professor Dennis Chandler is the sound designer while three senior students comprise the remainder of the artistic team: Randy Niles of Aberdeen, S.D., scenic design; Chris Schloss of Yankton, S.D., lighting design; and Steven Buechler of Centerville, S.D. costumes.  For more information, contact Eric Hagen at (605) 677-5732 or ehagen@usd.edu.