Riverland Community College Theatre Director Lindsey Duoos Williams announced the Theatre Department’s 2020-2021 season today. The season will rise to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing the same high-quality shows audiences have come to expect with flexible delivery formats.
The season opens Oct. 21 with the play She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms by Qui Nguyen. A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and pop culture, acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all. She Kills Monsters will be directed by Williams and will be performed fully online.
On Feb. 24, Riverland Theatre will present the popular romantic comedy Almost, Maine by John Cariani. Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream. The delivery format for this production will be announced at a later date. The play will be directed by Susan V. Hansen.
The season finishes with the new musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub, adapted by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery. Named one of The New York Times’ best shows of 2017, As You Like It is an immersive, dream-like tale of faithful friends, feuding families, and lovers in disguise. Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind and niece Celia escape to the Forest of Arden, a fantastical place of transformation where the refugees find community and acceptance under the stars. Featuring an original folk-pop score by acclaimed singer-songwriter Shaina Taub and adapted from William Shakespeare’s original text, As You Like It celebrates the power of community and love. Williams will direct As You Like It, which was postponed from the 2019-2020 season.
“This season presents many new challenges, but we are ready to be creative and flexible in order to continue our programming while prioritizing safety,” Williams said. “The challenge of producing a play entirely rehearsed and performed online is exciting as well as a fantastic learning opportunity for our students. She Kills Monsters has been a popular play presented in a traditional format, but now the script has been rewritten specifically for performances online on Zoom. The show is both funny and moving, and gives our students the opportunity to learn about creating performance for digital media.”
“We’ve kept the delivery method of our spring performances flexible,” continues Williams. “While it’s still too early to know when we’ll be returning to the Frank W. Bridges Theatre, we will be announcing more details about our spring shows later this fall. We are currently exploring multiple options so that we can choose the best delivery format based on current guidelines.”
Individual tickets to She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms will go on sale Sept. 8, when the box office officially opens for the season. The box office will be fully “virtual” this fall with no in person sales. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.riverland.edu/tickets, or by phone after Sept. 8. To receive more information, call the Riverland Theatre Box Office at (507) 433-0595, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website and download the brochure at www.riverland.edu/theatre. Individual ticket prices for As You Like It are $16, and $13 for She Kills Monsters and Almost, Maine. Riverland students receive two free tickets to each production.
Riverland Theatre strives to provide quality productions that are entertaining and challenging to both the audience and the artists. Because we reach such a diverse audience, some audience members may find some subject matter, language, or situations objectionable. If you have concerns about a specific production, we encourage you to become familiar with the material before attending the performance.
Riverland’s Theatre Department is a high-energy performance-oriented program. Plays produced vary from classical tragedy to modern comedy and from full-scale large cast musicals in intimate small cast plays. Students are encouraged to get involved in all areas of theatre production including, but not limited to, acting, stage managing, set building and painting. Strong academic offerings provide challenges in and out of the classroom.