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ISU theatre students use FOA grant to put on play at Kennedy Center festival

A grant from the Friends of the Arts helped Illinois State University School of Theatre students David Fisch and Abby Vombrack create a production of Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht.

They presented the play January 12, 2013, at the 45th annual Region III Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. The play was performed at Westhoff Theatre during the fall semester.

The creation of this work was a wonderful experience for the actors and technicians involved in the production.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State, and provided the theatrical experience of a lifetime,” they said in a statement. “The entire experience was a learning opportunity in ensemble building, and teamwork.”

The play was directed by Professor Sandi Zielinski ’67, M.F.A. ’81,  and the music in the play was written by Zack Powell, M.F.A. ’12. The play was developed for a mix of undergraduate and graduate students.

Brecht, a German playwright, wrote the play in 1939, while in exile, in response to the start of World War II. Brecht used his notion of “epic theatre” to stand old ideas on their head, ironically employing comedy and songs, revealing the mechanics of stagecraft and the artificiality of spoken dialogue, even as he exposed the profit motives underlying human conduct.

Vombrack is studying acting and theatre education. Fisch is studying acting and Spanish.

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