Theatre Department

Musical Theatre Major Balances “Newsies” With National Performance Opportunity

It’s a balancing act.

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With Deafness a Central Issue of the Play “Tribes,” Theatre Students Embrace Challenge of Learning Sign Language

Last year when Anna Sell studied abroad in London she made a visit to a local bookstore where she skimmed through plays hoping to find inspiration for the play she would direct the following year. 

She came upon the play, “Tribes,” and never looked back. 

“I read through it and knew that was it,” said the junior directing major from Kansas City, Mo. “I wanted a show that was going to challenge me.”

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Bright Lights, Big City Leads to Big Experiences for NWU Theatre Students

It comes as no surprise that the bright lights of Broadway intrigued a group of Nebraska Wesleyan University theatre students to spend their spring break in the Big Apple.

But the group of 40 students and their professors are quick to tell you the trip wasn’t just about the sights and sounds.

Theatre professor Ryan Kathman collaborated with NWU theatre alumni in New York city along with other professionals in the business to create an opportunity for NWU’s students to gain tangible experience.

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Meet Hamlet: NWU's Prince of Denmark is a Woman of Infinite Zest

Natalia Spengler isn’t interested in likely stories. Give her a tale that twists. Make it vast. Have it kink and kick and contradict. That’s when you know you have something. 

You have a story that lands—like Spengler’s own 2,800-mile journey—in an unexpected place. A story that slides, neatly, into the unlikeliest of roles. 

***

First, let’s hash out some contradictions. 

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Theatre Major Finds Solace on Stage Following Houston Hurricane

When the curtain opens on Nebraska Wesleyan University’s production of “Mamma Mia”, it will mark Adelaide Daniel’s first major role. 

It will mark weeks of line memorization and singing and dancing rehearsals. 

“I have been working toward a goal of getting to play a quirky and fun role in a musical,” said the senior theatre major. “I have been lucky enough to be in an ensemble of musicals here at NWU where I have been able to develop character-building skills and comedic timing.”

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Actress Ready to Perform Shakespeare Following London Study Abroad Experience

Long hours. Endless work. Tough criticism — experiences a budding Nebraska Wesleyan University actress from Juneau, Alaska, takes seriously.

"I love the camaraderie of the theatre," said junior Natalia Spengler. "There’s beauty in a group of people—actors and audience—coming together in a space to tell a story. It’s transformation. And there’s nothing else like it."

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Study Abroad Experiences Inspire Student's Show at World Theatre Festival

Olivia Finnegan was bitten by the acting bug as a busy seven-year-old girl living in Los Angeles, California.

At 16 she traveled to Mexico with Sister Cities International, an economic development initiative that inspired her to return home and create an after-school program for elementary school students who wrote stories and performed plays about water pollution.

Her love for theatre, travel and humanity followed her 1,500 miles to Nebraska Wesleyan University, where she will graduate in May with a theatre degree and experiences in 14 countries.

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Three Passions - Three Majors: Sophomore Says Support Helps Him Balance

Nebraska Wesleyan University sophomore Eric Kimberly discovered his love for theatre in high school.

So it was no surprise when he decided to major in theatre in college.

But interest in math and education also intrigued him as he began diving into his NWU classes. Before long, he decided to major in all three.

“Growing up I was always the person everyone went to for help with math,” said Kimberly who came to NWU from Omaha. “I think growing up being the one who was helping people with things is what got me into the idea of teaching.”

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Nebraska Wesleyan to Open "Boeing Boeing"

One of the world’s most performed French plays opens at Nebraska Wesleyan University on September 29.

“Boeing Boeing” follows bachelor Bernard and three airline stewardesses who are all engaged to him without knowing about each other. Things get messy when a speedier Boeing jet throws off all of his careful planning and puts all three stewardesses in town simultaneously. 

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Cabaret Weekend Features Sock Hop Theme

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Theatre Department will kick off its cabaret season with a sock hop.

Attendees will step into a 1950s diner to enjoy stories and music from the musicals “Grease,” “The Buddy Holly Story,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Always, Patsy Cline,” and more.

Performances will be held Thursday, September 15 through Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 18 at 2 p.m. All shows will be held in the Studio Theatre, located at 2710 North 48th Street.

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