Clarke University is pleased to announce that the university’s drama department production of “The Caretaker,” by Harold Pinter, has been selected as an invited performance at the Region 5 festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival from January 15-21 at Iowa State University in Ames. The department will perform the show twice at the festival on Wednesday, January 18, at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, January 19, at 10 a.m.
The production is one of only five productions, and one alternate, from the region selected to be featured at the festival. Clarke’s region includes schools in seven states: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
This is the seventh production Clarke has had selected to perform at the festival, among various other festival recognitions. This show is the final ACTF entry for the show’s director Clarke Professor of Drama Carol Blitgen, BVM, Ph.D., who will retire at the end of the current academic year. The first show she ever had selected to be performed at the festival was “Old Times” also by Harold Pinter.
A special benefit performance of the show will be held this Friday, January 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Clarke’s Terence Donaghoe Hall. To encourage attendance and support for the cast and crew, there will be no admission charged for the show. Freewill donations will be accepted and all proceeds will benefit the department trip to the festival.
The drama department originally performed the show on campus in November, at which time a panel of critics viewed it and made a recommendation to the festival selection committee, ultimately leading to an invitation to perform at the festival. Immediately following the holidays, a team of students and faculty will not only begin rehearsing the show, but will also practice constructing and deconstructing the set. At the festival, the crew will have a time limit to construct the set, which will be trucked to Ames, and focus lighting. Following the performance, the group will have a specific time limit for striking the set.
Cast members for the show include Gage Steenhagen, of Roland, Iowa as Mick; Austin Rea, of Lodi, Wis., as Aston; and Clarke Assistant Professor of Drama Joe Klinebriel as Davies. The show was directed by Professor of Drama Carol Blitgen, BVM, Ph.D. with Rebecca Brosnan, of Algona, Iowa, serving as stage manager. Ellen Gabrielleschi, MFA, chair and associate professor of drama, is the technical director for the show and Robert Neumann, adjunct instructor of drama, is the costume designer.
The Caretaker is a strikingly original drama with “a climax that tears the heart” by one of England’s most honored playwrights. In the show, a man is offered friendship, but his own shortcomings prevent him from experiencing it. This homeless wanderer fighting to gain a foothold and find a home will be ejected from Paradise because of his own hubris.
For more information, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.