‘Spoon River’ outdoor performances combine theatre, music

“Spoon River,” an hour-long outdoor performance of music and theatre, will be presented Thursday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 27, at Ripon College. Live performances will be open only to members of the Ripon College community.

Performances will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday on the north lawn of Harwood Memorial Union. They will be canceled or postponed in case of inclement weather.

A recording of the dress rehearsal is available here.

  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform a pre-show concert of Percy Grainger’s “Spoon River.” A scaled-down roster of performers, without the members of the Ripon community who usually play in the ensemble, include:

    Ben Cabala ’24 of Madison, Wisconsin
    Julia Goeks ’21 of Lake Forest, Illinois
    Alexandria Knatzke ’23 of New Holstein, Wisconsin
    Madeline Kuhl ’21 of Whitewater, Wisconsin
    Logan Zeinert ’22 of Wittenberg, Wisconsin

    Lydia Wiley Deal ’22 of Whitewater, Wisconsin

    Sarah Hurtgen (also piano) ’24 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Claire Lefeber ’23 of Waunakee, Wisconsin
    Kira Stark ’24 of Morrisonville, Wisconsin

    Alto Saxophone:
    Caroline Flesch ’23 of Delavan, Wisconsin
    Jillian Heidenreich ’22 of Monroe, Wisconsin

    Tenor Saxophone:
    Jessica Miles ’21 of Lancaster, Wisconsin

    Baritone Saxophone:
    Megan Steffes ’24 of Sherwood, Wisconsin

    Kylar Kinyon ’23 of Benton Harbor, Michigan
    Jacob Zuehlke ’22 of Whitewater, Wisconsin

    French Horn:
    Meridian Gassen ’24 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Ryan Schneeberg ’22 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

    Zach Olstinske ’24 of Burlington, Wisconsin

    Brittny Brown ’21 of Independence, Wisconsin
    Evan Jensen ’24 of Janesville, Wisconsin
    Christian Schmidt ’23 of Green Bay, Wisconsin

    Allison Slowiak ’22 of Kiel, Wisconsin

  • Professor of Theatre Kenneth Hill has created a new theatrical adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters’ ground-breaking book of poetry, Spoon River Anthology. Masters’ book is set in a rural Midwestern cemetery where the former residents of Spoon River tell the story of their lives and deaths. Hill’s version brings these stories to life and adds to the stories with American folk music.

    A cast of 11 actors will play a variety of roles. They are Maria Reber ’21, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Wil Bridenhagen ’21, Neenah, Wisconsin; Abbe Lane ’22 of Neenah, Wisconsin, Benjamin Marn ’22 of Ripon, Wisconsin; Anjelika Dombrowski ’23 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Nick Tonn ’20 of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Mattie Ryback ’22 of New Berlin, Wisconsin; Logan Zeinert ’22 of Wittenberg, Wisconsin; Katelyn Dano ’22 of Hubertus, Wisconsin; Billy Stiggers ’22 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Dakota Marlega ’21 of Waupaca, Wisconsin.

    Understudies are Mackenzie Gibson ’24 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; and Evan Jensen ’24 of Janesville, Wisconsin.

    Members of the crew are: Lindsey Wigand ’22 of West Allis, Wisconsin, assistant director and stage manager; Andy Ratayczak ’23 of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, sound board operator; Kylie Zenz ’23 of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, light board operator; and crew members Ethan Mans ’24 of Ripon, Wisconsin, Rachel Butkiewicz ’24 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Emma Sagartz ’23 of Chicago, Illinois.

    Hill is the director; Associate Professor of Theatre John Dalziel is the technical director and designer of lights and sound; Visiting Professor of Theatre Susan McDaniel Hill is the costume designer; and Assistant Professor of Music Erin Bryan is the musical director.

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