USD Theatre Presents 'The Baltimore Waltz'

Image Baltimore Waltz USD student Alex Newcomb-Weiland as Anna and Dan Frye as brother Carl in "The Baltimore Waltz," which runs March 17-21.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents "The Baltimore Waltz" by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel. The emotionally and humorously charged tale of a woman dealing with life-altering news runs March 17-21 in the Arena Theatre in the Fine Arts building on the USD campus.

"The Baltimore Waltz" features Anna (Alex Newcomb-Weiland), as our femme fatale to be and her dashing brother Carl (Dan Frye) in an emotionally heaped and hilarious adventure around the globe. We first meet Anna and Carl when they decide to pack their bags and whisk off to Europe after Anna is diagnosed with ATD (Acquired Toilet Disease) and they are told of a mysterious doctor in Vienna who may have found a cure for this new and odd disease. Along the way they meet peculiar garçons, vivacious radicals and a myriad of memorable characters who stand in the way of them reaching Vienna and a cure. As they jaunt from country to country Anna starts to notice a mysterious Third Man (Louis Mehlhaff) tailing them from a distance who seems to have some connection to her brother and his sordid past. Who is the Third Man? Will Anna and Carl reach Vienna? And will Anna be cured? All is masterfully and beautifully answered in The Baltimore Waltz. This bitter-sweet tale of love, loss and life will weave in and out of Europe and Baltimore and into the hearts of everyone in the audience.

Vogel wrote the play in the early 1990s, partially in response to the loss of her brother in 1988 to the AIDS virus. Vogel’s work lives in the era she wrote the material, however, the themes of grief, adventure and missed opportunities are still socially prevalent today. Director and MFA graduate student Ryan Fortney has grounded his version of the show in the 1980s and is working alongside the production team and cast, which also includes a three person ensemble (Shekendra Morgan, Isaac Otterman and Becca Schuster), to transform the Arena Theatre into a fast paced and memorable experience for the audience. Funny, endearing, emotionally packed and unpredictable, "The Baltimore Waltz" is sure to engage the audience.

The play, which contains adult themes and content, performs March 17-19 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and March 20 at 2 p.m. at the Arena Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets -- $15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizens (62+), $10 K-12 and non-USD students, and $5 USD students with ID -- can be purchased at the USD Theatre Box Office starting March 14 by calling the box office at 605-677-5400 or online at Box office hours are Monday thru Friday noon-5 p.m.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News