"Bright Ideas" opens April 24

(04-09-2009)

As I entered the Adams State College Theater Building on Tuesday evening the atmosphere was pleasant and as the actors prepared for rehearsal they gathered together, laughing, talking -- smiles on everyone's face.

The comedy, written by Eric Coble and directed by Jenna Neilsen, assistant professor of theatre, opens at 8 p.m. Friday, April 24, on the Adams State Main Stage; and continues at 8 p.m. April 25, April 30, May 1 and 2; with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 3.

The dark comedy is loosely based on an adaptation of Macbeth, in present day, and examines the length parents will go to set their children up for success. Neilsen said she chose the play because it is "wickedly funny" and even after three weeks of rehearsals, still makes her laugh. "The themes are dealt with in a funny and satirical manner, whether you are a parent, yuppie, or none of the above, at one point we all ask ourselves, in a moment of panic,'am I good enough...am I as good as so-and-so.'"

"Bright Ideas" is much like "old home week" with bittersweet emotions. This is the first production directed by Neilsen, who is completing her second year at Adams State and the last performance for the majority of the senior theater majors, "Hello and Goodbye," event.

Neilsen said she cast "really fabulous students." As I talked with Neilsen, the senior actors gathered round, including Beth Tantanella, Zach Burrell, Emily Stiles, Bothe Kretsinger and Kyle Wellman, all are excited about the production. It is Wellman's first appearance on the Main Stage. "It is a good way to go out and remember college."

Burrell and Stiles agreed, "It is a very relaxed atmosphere. It has been a blast. Jenna is laid back and the rehearsal process has been fun."

Tantenella and Stiles have been friends since their first week at college. Tantenella said it is her first experience in a college comedy production. "We are all playing a different role than what we are usually cast."

It is obvious, after only a few minutes in their company, the cast camaraderie and attitude is positive. Kretsinger said theater inspired him to stay in college and finish his degree. "It is nice to act one last time."

Due to language, mature audiences recommended. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 13 and are $9 for general public, $7 for seniors and students, and $5 for children 12 and under, and free to Associated Students and Faculty. Call the Theatre Box Office at 719-587-TIXX (8499) for reservations.

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