The past two semesters have been especially strong for the theatre world in Kirksville. Both community theatres and the Truman theatre department brought powerful productions to the stage. Although, the year had its fair share of flops and flaws, it also had stunning performances and impressive works. To commemorate the work of the actors, technicians and directors from the past eight months, here are a few highlights from some of the productions that took place at Truman and in the community.
Sarah Dykes: Between “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Spring Awakening,” junior Sarah Dykes skillfully has established herself as one of the leading lighting designers in Kirksville this year. Her accurate and clever designs made productions like “Spring Awakening” technically thrilling.
Ron Rybkowski: Designing sets containing many rooms and several different levels is a task theatre professor Ron Rybkowski mastered this year. Between “When A Man Marries” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” Rybkowski got to show off his creativity with intricate and impressive sets.
Joan Mather: Unfortunately for the theatre department, “Spring Awakening” marked theatre professor Joan Mather’s last production at Truman. While it is a shame she is leaving, she is doing so on a high note, bringing beautiful costume designs to the stage during productions like “When A Man Marries” and “Spring Awakening.”
Noteworthy Male Performances
Eric Patterson: Chemistry professor by day and actor by night, professor Eric Patterson skillfully sent chills down audience members’ spines during Curtain Call Theatre Company’s “Wait Until Dark.” His terrifying performance brought the production just the thrill it needed.
Sam Kyker: This year, audiences have had the pleasure of seeing the many faces of senior Sam Kyker. Kyker proved to be one of the strongest male actors of the year with his well-developed characters that contrasted just as much as the contrasting productions. He brought particularly strong acting and singing to his role as Moritz Stiefel in “Spring Awakening.”
Kevin Kickham: Sophomore Kevin Kickham brought skill and charm to his portrayal of Luke during “Next Fall.” Kickham’s character had the depth necessary to portray a religious homosexual.
Casey Scoggins: The only disappointment surrounding senior Casey Scoggins’ past school year in the Truman theatre realm was that audiences didn’t get to see her on stage enough. Consistently providing one of the strongest performance of any production she became involved with, Scoggins brought light to “Broken Bride” and humor and talent to “When A Man Marries.”
Anna Selle: Taking a lead role as a freshman is no easy task, but freshman Anna Selle did it with grace and skill playing Kit McNair in Joan Mather’s “When A Man Marries.” Her performance was even more impressive considering the large number of lines she was responsible for knowing during the nearly 3-hour production.
Racheal Kissee: Easily providing one of the best female performances of the year, senior Racheal Kissee brought more sincerity to her multiple roles in “I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change” than many actors brought to a single character all year. Her ability to go from gut-bustingly hilarious to heart-shatteringly sad made her one of the stand-out performers of the year.
MVPs of the Theatre Scene
Roxxy Duda: While not every production she directed was of the highest caliber, senior Roxxy Duda was easily one of the year’s Most Valuable Players. Duda has participated both on and off stage while at Truman, but has shown her directing ambition, putting together “Broken Bride,” “Next Fall” and four one act plays this year.
Chris Wacker: Taking the department by storm, freshman Chris Wacker is off to a great start at Truman. After making his debut during “Broken Bride,” Wacker consistently has landed major roles, such as Melchior Gabor in “Spring Awakening,” and provided audiences with excellent performances. With three years to go, Wacker shows great promise.
Ross Knight: Proving to be a modern-day Renaissance man, senior Ross Knight has played the roles of actor, director, writer and designer with skill. Knight’s production of “Among Wolves” was one of the year’s strongest productions.
The Rybkowski family: Serving as the Kirksville theatre world’s power family. This year, Ron Rybkowski’s technical work with lighting and set design dominated both the Truman and community theatre scenes, while his wife, Gina, director of “Wait Until Dark,” and daughter Heather Darrah, director of “I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change,” brought impressive directing skills to the community theatre scene.