Theatre Season Opens with The Crucible

Published Monday, September 28, 2015
The Crucible graphic
The Crucible graphic

SMSU Theatre’s 2015-2016 season opens with Arthur Miller’s classic Salem witch trial drama, The Crucible. Performances are October 10, and October 15-17 at 7:30 p.m., and October 18 at 2 p.m. Dinner theatre will be offered on Saturday, October 10 and Saturday, October 17. All performances are in the SMSU Fine Arts Theatre. 

Winner of the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play, The Crucible is both a gripping historical play and a timely parable of contemporary society. The story focuses on a farmer, his wife, and a young servant girl who maliciously causes the wife's arrest for witchcraft. The farmer brings the girl to court to admit the lie, and the monstrous course of bigotry and deceit terrifyingly unfolds in this exciting and enduring American drama.

The Crucible is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre and SMSU Theatre Arts alumnus Mike Lenz of Cottonwood, Minn., who is also the scenic and lighting designer and technical director. Professor of Theatre Sheila Tabaka of Marshall, Minn., is the costume designer. Thomas Knudson, a junior Theatre Arts major from Walnut Grove, Minn., is the sound designer. Kyle Havlicek, a senior Theatre Arts major, Creative Writing minor from Redwood Falls, Minn., is the Stage Manager.  Associate Professor of Theatre Nadine Purvis Schmidt of Estelline, S.D., is the producer. The cast and major crew include:

Emilie Baartman, a junior Theatre Arts and Broadcast & Digital Media double major from Brandon, S.D., as Rebecca Nurse.
Alison Bodewitz, a freshman Accounting major from Freeman, Minn., as Sarah Good.
Mark Bosveld, a community member from Marshall, Minn., as Deputy-Governor Danforth.
Marissa Condon, a Marshall High School senior, as Betty Paris.
Peter Dalsgaard, a freshman Math Education major from Springfield, Minn., as Judge Hathorne.
Michael Dombrowski, a sophomore Psychology major from Portland, Ore., as Ezekiel Cheever.
Taylor Engel, a junior Theatre Arts and Music double major from St. James, Minn., as John Willard.
Jacob Fager, a sophomore History major from Mankato, Minn., as John Proctor.
Joel Gay, a junior Theatre Arts major from Lake City, Minn., as Giles Corey.
Erica Hansen, a freshman Theatre Arts major from Marshall, Minn., as Mercy Lewis.
Kevin Huizenga, a freshman Theatre Arts and Music double major, Spanish minor from Brandon, S.D., as Francis Nurse.
Turi Jystad, a senior Theatre Arts and Communication Studies double major from Zumbrota, Minn., as Ann Putnam.
Jen Keohen, a sophomore Marketing major, Theatre minor from Shakopee, Minn., as Mary Warren.
Thomas Knudson, a junior Theatre Arts major from Walnut Grove, Minn., as Reverend Samuel Parris.
Danny McDonnell, a freshman History major from Jordan, Minn., as Thomas Putnam.
Ellen Padmore, a sophomore Kinesiology major, Physical Education minor from Brooklyn Center, Minn., as Tituba.
Jaylee Schanus, a freshman Theatre Arts major from Willmar, Minn., as Susanna Wallcott.
Andrew Schulz, an associate of arts candidate from Willmar, Minn., as Reverend John Hale.
Payton Shively, a junior Theatre Arts major from Council Bluffs, Iowa, as Elizabeth Proctor; Shively is also the publicity manager.
Sydney Stewart, a sophomore Marketing major, Graphic Design minor from Rockford, Ill., as Abigail Williams.
Anna Polak, a sophomore Early Childhood Education major from Redwood Falls, Minn., is the assistant stage manager.
Carrie Enga, a freshman Elementary Education major from Marshall, Minn., is the props master.
Crystal Enga, a freshman Elementary Education major from Marshall, Minn., is the light board operator.
Ariel Sims, a freshman Psychology major and Design/Technical Theatre minor from Shakopee, Minn., is the sound board operator.
Stephanie Asfeld, a junior Accounting major from Bertha, Minn., is the house manager.


Tickets are available at and at the door. SMSU Theatre is reducing ticket prices to make productions accessible to a wider audience; all tickets are now $10. The performance on Thursday, October 15 is free to SMSU students with a valid student ID. The dinner theatre is an add-on option for $22 (for a total price of $32 for dinner and the show), and must be booked 5 days in advance. Dinner seating will be 5:45 – 6:15 p.m. in Individualized Learning 117, the Culinology Restaurant. 

The dinner theatre available on October 10 and October 17 features a menu created and prepared by the SMSU Student Hospitality Opportunities (SHO) Club. The menu, with an autumn harvest theme, includes: butternut squash soup with a cod cake or corn cake; an open-faced turkey sandwich on a sweet potato biscuit; a bean and vegetable medley; orange cranberry sauce; and apple pie crepes with maple or vanilla bean whipped cream. A vegetarian entrée option will also be available.

For more information, please call the Theatre Office at (507) 537-7103.