Theater production opens this weekend
February 24, 2011
The first theater production of the semester, “The Shape of Things” by Neil Lubute, is opening this weekend and the director Meg Swanson, who has been a part of UW-River Falls Theater since 1980, is getting ready to retire this year.
‘“This is my first time working with Meg, the director, and that has been really fun. It has been fun, stressful but fun,” said senior Mark Bradt, an actor, “She is a great director, and its sad that no one else will be able to have that experience, I feel pretty lucky especially because I’m not even in the theater department.”
Swanson said, although her retirement is going to be bittersweet, she looks forward to her future plans.
“I have been here for a long time, and I am a little sad about retiring too, actually, because I like my job and I love what I do and I love working with students. But it’s time to move on to something new and different,” said Swanson. “It will be a bittersweet departure. Immediately after I retire, my husband and I are going to do a little traveling. And then I don’t know what I’m going to do after that, but I’m not ready to start playing bridge all the time. There is lots of stuff that I want to learn. I want to learn how to throw pots, become a good photographer, and I want to learn Italian.”
Andy Hanlon took the position of stage manager for this theater production to experience Swanson’s directing skills.
“Meg Swanson is retiring this year, and I never got to see how she directs a show,” said Hanlon. “It’s been fun actually, this has been the fist time that I have been stage manager for the university.”
Swanson cautions people to be aware that this performance contains strong language and adult material.
“This play is unique because there aren’t a whole lot of serious plays about the lives of college students. And that’s an important thing about it,” said Swanson. “And we are doing it in the studio theater, which is a very small intimate theater so people will be very close to what is going on, they will see it intensely and personally, and not at a distance. If people come, they need to know that the play is very rough, language-wise, so they should be prepared for that, and know that there are some very adult situations in it.”
Bradt said the performance is a drama about four college students and their relationships.
“I actually legitimately think that people are going to be very surprised with this show, the script, and how it will probably not be what they are expecting at all,” said Bradt. “Its kind of a dark romance and the characters deal with some very uncomfortable things that I think everyone does but that no one likes to
admit. And as an audience member you get to see the way people lie to themselves, and I don’t know how to describe it, just see it, it’s good.”
“It’s a great student cast in this show. That’s another thing that makes the piece special, the actors are really top notch,” said Swanson. “I hope people come, its good to come out and see some stuff when you’re in college. Leave your dorms and get out and see what’s going on around campus.”