By Joshua Herring
Performed by a group of selected KU theatre majors, “Lizards” showcased a thought-provoking story focused on the difficult changes during early adulthood, which was originally written by the innovative playwright, Megan Mostyn-Brown. KU Presents! hosted this final production of the Kutztown theatre program from April 16 to 26.
The show enticed younger spectators with a context that staged similar troubles to what many students experience during college. Prof. Roxanne Rix, director of the play, says she “chose the script for the theme which seemed so fitting to this point in time.” This theme, change and rebuilding, appropriately gesture to the conclusion of the Kutztown theatre program.
“I was proud of all the actors for the professional-level performance they achieved,” says Rix, who also chose to re-create “Lizards” specifically for Kutztown’s last class of theatre majors.
Erin Dixon, one of the last to graduate from the Kutztown theatre program, played the lead role, Phoebe. She says, “This is the most realistic play that I’ve ever been in. It’s the farthest I’ve been stretched emotionally, but I’m thankful everyday being given this opportunity.”
Audiences quite enjoyed the production, according to Dixon. “This play has a character that each person can relate to, which made it almost like being taught a life lesson through theatre, which is always the underlying goal.”
The final public performance of “Lizards” was on Friday, April 25, representing the finale for Kutztown theatre. Current and past Kutztown theatre participants came and joined a 2 p.m. matinee performance that following Saturday.
Administration partly chose to cut theatre from the university’s budget because of the “expense of staging fully produced plays”, according to Rix. “The likelihood of such productions coming back seems virtually nil.”
“I’m disheartened that others won’t be able to follow the academic track that I have, as it has shaped me as a student, performer, and as a person,” says Dixon. On the bright side, student organizations such as Perforum and Sunshine Players will still be producing minor productions.
A theatre major will no longer be available, but Kutztown will still offer a few courses in theatre and stage production. The department of Communication Studies will still include its other areas of study.