A word from UNISTA president Ryan Decker

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Hello all you Strayer-Wood Theatre fans – Thank you for visiting our corner of the web-world!

I am Ryan Decker, a UNI Senior Theatre: Performance-Acting Major and President of the UNI Student Theatre Association.  As our busy semester here comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the many experiences this fall has brought us, and recharge for an equally exciting spring. Where to begin…

UNI theatre students complimented the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Art Center’s Rememberance 9-11: 10 Year Later with the presentation of short original piece created for the event.  The stage was shared with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, the Metropolitan Chorale, and Red Cedar Chamber Music for a beautiful and moving evening.

Our department enjoyed the company of guest playwright Cody Daigle as Strayer-Wood delivered the Midwest premiere of Cody’s Guernica and UNISTA presented a staged-reading and talkback of his new play William and Judith.  Cody shared with us his journey as a working playwright and we shared with our audiences his award-winning play on the relationship of art and war and his vision of William Shakespeare’s fictional sister.

Strayer-Wood’s Mad Forest soon followed, and combined spectacle and simplicity in a Carol Churchill’s story of life in the Romanian revolution, and real, intimate accounts of those who lived it.

Over 1000 high school theatre students and teachers joined us for a weekend of performances and workshops as we hosted, for the second time, the Iowa Thespian Festival.  A lot of time and effort paid off in the success of the 2-day event.  UNISTA, APO-TAP, and USITT’s collaborative Die, Claudius! received an enthusiastic standing-ovation from a house of 400+.

Since then, UNISTA’s theatre for youth production of The Yellow Boat has taken the stage of the stage of the Bertha Martin Black Box and has provoked tears to shed and hearts to ache while raising donations for the ‘Keep a Child Alive Organization.’

 Wow!  The semester is almost over.  But not without a Design and Production Portfolio Review in addition to auditions and casting for Strayer-Wood’s two-person Dying City and the larger than life musical sensational Bat Boy.  UNISTA too is preparing for a spring of even more student mainstage productions (including the 6th Annual 10-Minute Play Festival) as well as more staged-readings and talkbacks of new, original work.

Yes we like to keep busy around here, and your presence makes it all worthwhile.  Thank you for sharing this fall with us.  Have a safe and happy winter season, and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!




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