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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Viral ‘Faithfall,’ ‘Only for Now’ theater pieces set in Green Bay

Critic At Large

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance

Show poster.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance will present two virtual performances in December.

According to a press release:

The first is a world premiere of an original drama, “Faithfall.” The showing is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. Pre-show interviews and a post-show discussion on the play’s themes will provide additional insights.

The second production is “Only for Now,” a revue. It will show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.

Both productions will be shown on the Weidner Center’s YouTube (see weidnercenter.com) site free of charge with donations accepted. 

+ “Faithfall” is the story of Whitney Long, a young woman struggling with grief over the suicide of her estranged sister, a nun. Following the funeral, Whitney meets Father Michael, the young priest who knew Whitney’s sister. With Father Michael’s guidance, Whitney embarks on a journey to gain a greater understanding of her grief, beliefs and relationship with her sister. A poignant story of faith and love in times of crisis, “Faithfall” was written by Thomas Campbell of the UWGB Theatre faculty.

Directing is John Mariano of the faculty.

The cast consists of Allie Lent as Whitney Long and Sean Stalvey as Father Michael. Lent is a senior from Albany, Wis., majoring in theater. Stalvey is a senior from Manitowoc majoring in theater.

Earlier this year, “Faithfall” had a staged reading at the Texas A&M University-Commerce, but this will be the world-premiere production. 

The Dec. 3 pre-show talk will include Thomas Campbell discussing his inspiration for the story and insights into his writing process. The post-show talk will be a panel discussion with psychology and mental health community leaders and professors. The panel will discuss coping with grief, suicide prevention and stress management and offer professional opinions and information on community resources. 

Show poster.

+ “Only for Now” features an ensemble of theater and dance students.

Directing is Laura Riddle, with musical direction by Courtney Sherman and choreography by Denise Carlson-Gardner.

The title, “Only for Now,” also the closing song of the revue, is from the Broadway musical “Avenue Q.” According to director Laura Riddle, the title is also a nod to the current nature of education and theater during a global pandemic.

In addition, the revue will feature songs from a wide variety of Broadway shows including, “Guys and Dolls,” “A Chorus Line,” “Hairspray” and “Les Misérables.” The selections in the revue were chosen to highlight what it means to be a performing artist and inspire hope for the future.

Cast members include Mason Amidon, Connor Anderson, Isabelle Austgen, Jasmine Christyne, Hayley Eastman, Alyssa Hannam, Faith Klick, Grace Kolb, Rhean Krueger, Cory J. O’Donnell, Autumn Rettke, Aisa Rogers, Liesl Sigourney, Annie Skorupa, Olivia Smith, Audrey Soberg, Aubrey Stein, and Ally Stokes.

Out of concern for the health and well-being of the audience, actors, and production crew, theater and dance performances for the semester are being filmed and presented for viewing rather than livestreamed or presented as traditional live performances.

Be advised that “Faithfall” focuses on issues of suicide and has adult content and themes. “Only for Now” contains strong language and adult content. Both productions are recommended for mature audiences. 

“Faithfall” will premiere online at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 with the recorded pre-show beginning at 6:30 p.m. and is part of the Common CAHSS: Beyond Sustainability virtual conference. The production will then be available for viewing through Tuesday, Dec. 8. 

“Only for Now” will premiere online at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and be available for viewing through Tuesday, Dec. 15.

There is no charge to view the productions, but donations in support of scholarships for UWGB Theatre & Dance students may be made by visiting: https://www.uwgb.edu/theatre/become-a-theatre-first-nighter/.

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