Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: St. Norbert Students create plays inspired by archive photos

Critic At Large


Production poster.

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – St. Norbert College Theatre Department this weekend will present “Palimpsest,” an evening of short plays devised by students in its 250 Theatre Lab, inspired by photos from the college’s archives.

The schedule, streaming live for free (donations accepted): 7:30 p.m. April 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. April 18. Info: The presentation is online for reasons of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release: Giving voice to those who stand in the background was the focal point of “Palimpsest,” as theater students were able to bond while glancing through images which spanned decades on campus.

Defined as a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain, “Palimpsest,” is a collection of stories representing the voices of those stood in the background. They may not have been the focal point, but they still had a story to tell – from a moment at a dance, with a student wondering about their choice of shoes and dance partner, to a rant about waiting while standing in line at the cafeteria.

Erin Hunsader, visiting assistant professor, served as the director and writing coach with student Kassidy Ashbeck writing and directing the piece titled “Turn Back Time.”

Designed and edited by April Beiswenger, associate professor of theater/scenographer and chair of the Theatre Department, and Stephen Rupsch, divisional dean for Visual & Performing Arts and professor of Theatre Studies, who offered his expertise with the camera equipment during the filming.

Corey Pinchart is the technical director, and Brittney Fritz is the assistant technical director.

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