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USD Theatre Stages Regional Premiere with 'The Story of Susanna'

USD student Kylie Groves on stage for the play "The Story of Susanna." Kylie Groves in "The Story of Susanna."

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s Department of Theatre presents the regional premiere of "The Story of Susanna" by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl. Inspired by the character from the biblical apocrypha, this play examines gender expectations, sexuality and the cycles of violence that impact women from many walks of life. Performed in the intimate setting of USD’s Arena Theatre, the audience is close and engaged in every aspect of the action as the playwright takes us on a poetic journey that ultimately leaves us with a message of hope.

"It is a play about story, the power of story and the healing power of telling the story right," said Chaya Gordon-Bland, associate professor of theatre and director of "The Story of Susanna." "The play is an evocative and poetic exploration of women’s stories; particularly the challenges, struggles and traumas that women often face. The play roots these issues in outdated and archaic systems and beliefs, and then explores how these issues continue to impact us today. While the play does not shy away from difficult territory, it ultimately leaves us with a beautiful and empowering message of hope, a call to come together in community to heal, restore and renew."

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"The Story of Susanna" performs Oct. 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. in the Arena Theatre on the USD Campus. Tickets ($15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizen [62+], $10 K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and free for USD students with ID) can be purchased in the afternoons (12 – 5 p.m.) starting Oct. 17 at the USD Theatre Box Office or by calling (605) 658-3484; tickets can also be purchased now online at


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 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News