Senior Studios

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Photo courtesy of Anna Nguyen

Every fall and spring, the senior drama majors bring us new and exciting stories in the form of their senior capstone projects—the Senior Studios.

Each senior directs a one-act play chosen during the spring of their junior year.

This semester’s performances feature “​Here is Monster” ​by Brock Norman Brock directed by Anna Nguyen, “​The Typists” by Murray Schisgal directed by Katrine Christensen, and “​The North Pool” by Rajiv Joseph directed by Paul Bond.

“Here is Monster” is a dark, gritty fairy tale told through the poetry of the character’s distilled words and gestures. When a murderous criminal surprises his wife by returning home, she rejects him, wanting nothing to do with his story. 

Despite his promise to be a loving husband, the wife is uncertain that she can forget his past or if she even should. In torment he waits for his wife’s forgiveness, working hard to repair the past, but his mistress, the witch, haunts him, waiting to reveal a monstrous secret that she hopes will convince him to remain with her. 

Casting for “​Here is Monster” ​includes ​Grace Burleigh, ​Katie Crnkovich​, ​David Morales, ​Peter Shanley and ​Maureen Shumay.

The creative team for “​Here is Monster” ​features scenic design by Eoin McKnight, costume design by Loretta Bond, lighting design by Cameron Nottingham, props design by Dolores Mihaliak and sound design by Joseph Riordon.

Next, from the Oscar-nominated writer of “​Tootsie​” comes a charming, bittersweet comedy about relationships, jobs and how we balance them.

“The Typists” follows Paul, a married man with aspirations of becoming a lawyer, who becomes a temp typist at an advertising company, where he meets Sylvia, a romantically-minded woman. They feud, flirt and blur the line between coworker and companion while 40 years of their lives are telescoped into one 9-to-5 workday.

Katrine Christensen directs ​Faith Berry as Sylvia Payton and ​Ben Simansky​ as Paul Cunningham.

The creative team for “​The Typists” features scenic design by Brinta Horan, costume design by Victoria Flores, props design by Christine Newman, sound design by Pedro Barquin, lighting design by John Muncy, stage management by Elisabeth Christensen, and assistant stage management by Straton Garrard.

In “​The North Poo​l,” Khadim, a surly Middle Eastern transfer student, stays after school the day before spring break to serve detention under Dr. Danielson, the overbearing but affable vice principal. 

Danielson’s questions become more personal and threatening as the detention progresses, and Khadim becomes increasingly unsure of why he’s actually serving detention. Directed by ​Paul Bond​, ​“The North Pool” ​stars ​Sam Chiodo ​as Dr. Danielson and ​Gabe Checri ​as Khadim.

“‘The North Pool’ brings out an exhilarating and powerful scene of how people work when they are trying to make sense of what they have done and the consequences they now have to face,” said Chiodo.

The creative team features Rebecca Morris as lighting designer, Ann Urbanski as props master, Jack Urbanski as costume designer, Brynne Mongoven as set designer and Charles Spurgin as sound designer.

Performances will begin in the Drama Building on Thursday, April 30. They will run through Sunday, May 3, including matinee and evening performances on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Tickets can be reserved in advance on the University of Dallas Drama Department page at https://udallas.edu/drama/​ starting on March 2. General, student and staff tickets are all free.

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