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Dates for Rescheduled SMSU Play 'Personal History' Announced

Posted from Wednesday, January 12, 2022 through Sunday, February 06, 2022

The make-up dates for the SMSU play, Personal History, will be Feb. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 6 at 2 p.m.

The play was originally to open on Dec. 9, 2021 but was postponed due to a COVID-19 situation.

All performances are in the SMSU Fine Arts Theatre, with free parking available in lot B-1. Tickets are $10 and are available at and at the door. All performances are free to SMSU students with a valid student ID. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are currently required to wear a mask in all public indoor spaces on the SMSU campus, including in the theatre during the performance.

Playing with time, Personal History imagines an African-American couple navigating three moments in American life. From 1903 to 1953 to 1996, the play explores what life would be like for Eugene and Bethany in each of these times, as they interact with an evolving society, confronting issues of race and class, as well as the dynamics of their own personal relationship.

Personal History is directed by guest artist Theo Langason. A graduate of Rutgers University–Camden with a degree in Theatre Arts, Langason has been working in the Twin Cities as an actor, director, musician, composer, improviser, poet, and teaching artist for a decade. He is a co-artistic director of Red Eye Theater, a company member of Sandbox Theatre, a member of Blackout Improv, and a cast member of The Theater of Public Policy. As a teaching artist, Langason works regularly with Guthrie Theater, Penumbra Theatre, and Upstream Arts.

SMSU Theatre alumnus Alex Pikiben (’15) is the guest sound designer. Pikiben recently completed his Master of Fine Arts degree with specialization in sound and lighting design at the University of South Dakota, and is now a freelance sound designer based in Minneapolis.

Professor Sheila Tabaka of Marshall, Minn., is the costume designer. Assistant professor Tetta M. Askeland of Marshall, Minn., is the scenic and lighting designer. Molly Green, a junior Theatre Arts major and Criminal Justice minor from Silver Lake, Minn., is the stage manager. Professor Nadine Purvis Schmidt of Estelline, S.D. is the producer.

The cast and production team includes:

  • Jasper Ale, a junior Theatre Arts major from Nigeria, as Cosgreve.
  • LeRoy Tre’ Beck III, a community member originally from Luling, Tex., as Eugene Balswede.
  • Alexander Duus, a sophomore Broadcast and Digital Media major and Theatre minor from Tyler, Minn., as a member of the ensemble.
  • Matthew Hartley, a senior Political Science major and Biology and Acting/Directing double minor from Winner, S.D., as Franklin Smith.
  • Colton Jensen, a junior Theatre Arts major and Political Science minor from Sanborn, Minn., as Patrick Kinney.
  • Avianna McFarquhar, a senior Theatre Arts and Management-Entrepreneurship double major from Marshall, Minn., as Bethany Weeks.
  • Domonique McPhail, a junior Theatre Arts major from Murdock, Minn., as Angelina McCabe.
  • Bryn Mongeau, a sophomore Theatre Arts and Music-Theory/Composition double major from Beaver Creek, Minn. and Baltimore, Md., as a member of the ensemble.
  • Brooke Burns, a sophomore Math Education major and Theatre minor from Russell, Minn., is the assistant stage manager.
  • Noah Dunn, a freshman Chemistry Education major and Middle School Science minor from Marshall, Minn., is the light board operator.
  • Ratsamee Lee, a sophomore Criminal Justice major from St. Paul, Minn., is the sound board operator.
  • Sara Karpen, a junior Professional Writing and Communication major from Tea, S.D., is the house manager.


Personal History is presented through special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (

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Category: Entertainment