New Production Approach and Ticketing at VCSU Theatre

Special to the Times-Record
The Valley City State University Bookstore is now offering tickets for the university’s theatre productions, beginning with Third, by Pulitzer-Winning playwright, Wendy Wasserstein. With convenient hours 8AM-4PM Monday through Friday, people can purchase their tickets at the bookstore located in the Student Center at the corner of Viking Drive and 2nd Ave. SW. Students from any school are admitted free to VCSU Theatre productions, but need a student ticket for admission. Single tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens.

Reservations can also be made at the website, , by submitting the online form at the Box Office Ticket Request in the left-hand column. People can call the VCSU Box Office at 701-845-7320 for more information.

Described as Wasserstein’s “wittiest, wisest, and perhaps most personal play” by critic Mark Favermann, Third’s characters wrestle with academic prejudice, aging, parental control, and life itself, via the character named Third, a student wrestler. Set on the campus of a small liberal arts college, VCSU Theatre is presenting Third as a Promenade Performance. Audience members will follow the cast to each campus venue for various scenes throughout the play. “This is the perfect opportunity to teach our students the sense of intimacy they’ll need when they act for the camera in film or television.”, according to Jenni Lou Russi, Director of Theatre at VCSU. “Also, by performing in found spaces, our students understand that they can produce shows in non-theatrical venues. The only available theatres in town are at the high school and VCSU. As such, our community performance groups have a challenge in finding appropriate venues. I hope that after this experience our students find ways to create performance venues in non-traditional spaces, enhancing the performing arts opportunities in our community.” At the top of the show the audience will join the cast in the Rhoades Science Center Auditorium for the two-hour journey throughout the show. Accommodations will be made for audience members with mobility issues.

The characters in Third use adult language. “Our students are adults, and can portray characters who use adult language.”, says Russi. “The language is not gratuitous. The script is written as many young adults on college campuses speak – this is a realistic depiction. In one scene a character chooses a word with the intent to offend – and suffers the consequences. The use of adult language in this script is very intentional.” Contracts and copyright laws prevent directors from changing words in scripts.

This show presents fun challenges for our cast, crew, and audiences.” says Russi. Jennifer Jenness, Assistant Professor of Communication at VCSU, is often the last person to leave the room and the first to enter as she plays the lead character Laurie Jameson. Student stage managers/assistant directors Tony Trautman and Dayna Czeck create backstage magic as they keep the show going while Technical Director David Ahumada makes certain that Jenness gets to each venue in time.
With limited space, seating is limited for the show and Russi expects to sell out in advance. Available seats will be sold on-site before the show – at the Rhoades Science Center Auditorium. “This production has generated quite a bit of interest, and with the specific discussion about plagiarism, we’re expecting strong campus support. People are encouraged to make their reservations in advance.”