USD’s 2008 theatre season opens with ‘The Voice of the Prairie’

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre opens its 2008-2009 season with “The Voice of the Prairie,” John Olive’s endearing comedy that celebrates a time of itinerant radio, when, before there were networks, sponsors and regulating agencies, a broadcaster could be a one-man road-show radio station.

"The Voice of the Prairie" performs Oct. 3-4 and Oct. 6-7 with all showings at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance is scheduled for 2 p.m., Oct. 5 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts. 

The action centers on Davey Quinn (Phil Johnson, Yankton, S.D.), a warm and well-traveled farmer who becomes an unlikely 1920s radio star (similar to a modern day Garrison Keillor) with the help of a shady traveling disc jockey, Leon Schwab (Kevin Kelly, Aberdeen, S.D.).  Quinn’s stories of travels with Poppy, an old Irish hobo and teller of tall tales (Ty Hudson, South Sioux City, Neb.) and Frankie, his blind love interest (Katie Henrichson, Sioux Falls, S.D.), become so popular that Schwab and Quinn’s venture draws the attention of the newly developed F.C.C. which threatens to shut down their unlicensed radio show. The cast also features the talents of Erin Gallion (Salina, Kan.), Miles Brindley (Belle Fourche, S.D.), Krysta Dziak (Helena, Mont.), Tom Crouse (Morris, Minn.), and Eric Adams (Omaha, Neb.). 

"The Voice of the Prairie" is directed by Roberta Rude, professor of theatre, with scenic design by Tim Case, sound and lighting designs by Dennis Chandler, and costume design by visiting instructor Rachel Dozier-Ezell.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for youths (K-12) and non-USD students, and $4 for USD students with ID. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m. weekdays and noon to curtain on performance days beginning Sept. 26.  To reserve tickets, call (605) 677-5400 or visit www.usd.edu/cfa/Theatre