Rockhurst Theater presented 2nd annual student-led production


Graphic by Kori Hines

Rockhurst Theater Department debuted their second annual Winter Theater Conglomeration in the Mabee Theater with a two-night event on Feb. 21-22.

This year’s production was entirely written, produced and acted by Rockhurst theater students with the support of student director Lily Buehler, ’20. Buehler was supported by a committee of students: Jon Boyle, Maddy Miles and Mary Kate Halfmann.

“I expected the process to be pretty similar to what it was last year – lots of emails, lots of meetings, lots of decisions. It takes a lot of coordinating between creative people to bring the WTC to life, and I’ve felt blessed to experience the best of that – two years in a row,” Buehler said of her experience.

“The process for the WTC began last year when I approached the director of our theater program, Matt Schmidli, about the missed opportunity of a show slot for students to do whatever it was they wanted to do every spring semester,” Buehler said.

The Winter Theater Conglomeration allows students the opportunity to express themselves in a creative way. From short skits, to singing and dancing, the performers dove into the spotlight and gave it their all.

Each skit was its own and was written by a different student. The opening-act titled “The Man Who Can’t be Moved” was written by students Chris Grisafe-Point and Paul Hathaway.

Junior David Walter wrote a personal, one-act skit titled “Sickness unto Death.”

The performances focused on several themes including heartbreak, having faith in difficult times, and the social responsibility of women to always be on high alert to signs of danger.

“I actually had the opportunity of working with Kelly Schmidli to create a monologue about what it’s like to be a woman feeling unsafe in certain environments and times of the day. The point was to raise awareness, but we ended up creating a relatable character out of it,” Buehler said.

Between each skit, sophomores Connor Berry and Courtney Haid, performed renditions of classic songs from popular films. Berry performed a dramatic version of “If I Can’t Love Her” from Beauty and the Beast demonstrating themes of true love, while Haid performed “Santa Fe” from the Newsies.

Each show ran for 75 minutes and concluded with a comical and heartwarming tone in the form of the skit “Two Russians Walk into A Counselor’s Office” written by sophomores Erin Backhaus and Gabby Scheberle. With its goofy jokes about Russian culture, the skit focuses on Olga and Helga, two women who have a tendency to get into trouble. The skit demonstrated the power of friendship, showing that no matter what happens in life, there is always someone to support and provide comfort for each person.

After the show, the audience was invited to stay for a Q&A session with the cast, and viewers were encouraged to offer commentary on the night’s performances.

From the cheering and applause, it was clear that the Rockhurst students produced a great show.

The next production by Rockhurst’s Theater Arts is William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on April 12-14 in the Mabee Theater.