Aug. 15, 2008
A Morningside College group will travel to Spring Green, Wis., Sept. 18-20 to see three plays at American Players Theatre (APT), a professional repertory company. All Siouxlanders interested in theater – including adults and high school students – are welcome to join the trip.
This year all three plays are comedies about love. In Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” four young lovers and a troupe of amateur actors stumble into a feud in fairyland that turns everything topsy-turvy. The play closes with Shakespeare’s tragic farce “Pyramus and Thisby.” Then Eugene O’Neill’s “Ah, Wilderness!” is set in a small Connecticut town on July 4, 1906, and is a heartwarming celebration of family and the innocence of youth. The final play, G. B. Shaw’s “Widower’s Houses,” is a witty comedy of ideas in which a principled young British doctor becomes engaged to a hot-blooded young woman and is shocked to discover the source of his fiancée’s family’s wealth.
The plays will be performed at APT’s comfortable outdoor theater, which is nestled in the hills along the Wisconsin River. The group will travel by car and stay at Spring Valley Inn, a Frank Lloyd Wright-style modern lodging with pool, sauna, restaurant, shop and nearby golf course.
The $250 cost of the trip includes tickets, transportation, lodging and breakfasts, and designated drivers will receive stipends to pay for gas. This year high school and college students are eligible to apply for a limited number of student travel grants that will lower the cost of the trip to $175. “This is a great opportunity for high school students,” said Marty Knepper, who is professor and chair of English at Morningside and also the trip director, “especially since so many students have studied Shakespeare and drama in high school.”
This road trip is a Morningside tradition. “We jump in our cars and head to Spring Green for a weekend of wonderful classic plays. It’s a beautiful time of year in a beautiful part of the country,” Knepper said.
Bette Skewis-Arnett and Art Moss, faculty members in the theater department at Morningside, have attended plays at APT for years. Both have remarked that the plays appeal to all kinds of people, including those who have never before seen classical plays performed. The staging makes the plays lively and easy to follow and appreciate. Besides attending the plays, the group will have an opportunity to tour the APT facilities and meet informally with actors after the Friday night performance.
There also will be free time for trip participants to enjoy the Spring Green area. On Saturday, members of the expedition can visit Madison’s famous State Street, go to House on the Rock (Wisconsin’s number one tourist attraction), explore the Frank Lloyd Wright Hillside School, or browse through the arts and crafts shops in Spring Green or Mineral Point. Spring Green also offers golfing, hiking and boating. The English department will provide everyone with brochures about the area’s attractions, as well as study guides to the plays.
The group will leave in car pools on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m., arriving at Spring Valley Inn in Spring Green at about midnight. The group will return at about midnight on Saturday, Sept. 20.
To register for the trip, apply for a student travel grant or find out more details, contact Marcie Ponder in the English department by phone at 712-274-5126 or by e-mail at email@example.com. The deadline for trip registration is Sept. 8.