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P.S. Series gives students creative control over three theater productions this winter

  • The cast of Stuart Little.
  • The cast of Actor's Nightmare.

Posted on January 11, 2019

The Performance Studio Series at Grand Valley gives upper-level theater students complete creative control over the directing, acting, backstage production, and set and costume design for a series of productions each academic year.

Winter P.S. Series performances will begin this month with "Stuart Little" and "Actor's Nightmare." Both productions will be performed January 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. and January 20 at 2 p.m. An additional performance of "Stuart Little" will take place January 19 at 10 a.m.

"Actor's Nightmare" involves an accountant named George Spelvin who is forced to perform in a play that he's not familiar with after being mistaken for an actor's understudy. The production will be directed by Tyler DeGood, a senior majoring in theater.

"The play is an entertaining type of chaos, from the main character being dumbfounded by what is happening to the other characters switching between plays," said DeGood. "I feel that the P.S. Series is a fantastic way to give practical experience to students outside of classes."

In "Stuart Little," Stuart is born to an ordinary family living in New York City. He is normal in every way except that he is only four inches tall and looks exactly like a mouse. During this story's adventure, Stuart learns that a bird he has befriended named, Margalo, may have flown to Connecticut so he jumps on a motorized, gas-powered toy car to catch up to her.

"Stuart Little" will give Rachel Renaud the opportunity to fulfill her dream of directing a theater production.

"I know of other schools that don't let their students direct shows that are performed in their theaters, so I feel like I'm actually getting to put what I've learned into reality and I truly think the audience is going to enjoy it," said Renaud, a senior majoring in elementary education, English and theater.

The final P.S. Series production of the 2018-19 academic year will be "Gods of Carnage" with performances scheduled February 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. and February 24 at 2 p.m.

"Gods of Carnage" features two sets of parents who agree to meet to discuss how best to handle a previous altercation between their two kids in a public park. As the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the conversation devolving into chaos. "Gods of Carnage" will be directed by Ron Boudreau, a senior majoring in theater.

"I think people should come to see the show to help support the amazing talent and work that the cast and design team have put into this play," said Boudreau. "This production has a phenomenal script that tackles the real-life issue of arguing to win, instead of listening to the other side. This play is a serious comedy that will entertain as well as get its point across to audiences."

All P.S. Series performances will take place in the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre located in the Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $7 general admission for every P.S. Series show. 

For more information, visit the Performance Studio Series website or call the Louis Armstrong Theatre Box Office at (616) 331-2300.