April 11, 2014--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Theatre will present "Kwaidan: Strange Tales fro East Asia" April 24-26 and May 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Syse Theatre in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building.
The idea for this original production was born two years ago while Theatre Professor Robin Murray was viewing the Edo Pop exhibit at the Minneapolis Art Institute. Struck by the similarities between ancient woodblock prints, contemporary manga and anime, and learning of the "One Hundred Candles" parlor game played in 18th century Japan, she thought it might be interesting to explore ways to dramatize ghost stories in a fashion that would invite young people to make the connections between their beloved anime and historical literature.
Murray collaborated with UWRF theatre major and Falcon Scholar summer recipient Jeremiah Liend and their ensemble cast to devise a play that depicts ghost stories that are scary, creepy, and sometimes humorous.
The polished result is a play about a group of students on a study exchange trip in Japan who learn about the "One Hundred Candles" parlor game and try to play it in an abandoned Bunraku puppet theatre in Tokyo. The evening turns out to be more frightening than they imagined – and who knows what will happen if the 100th candle is put out?
Student performers and hometowns are: Vanessa Agnes of Forest Lake, Minn., Nic Ambroz of Waseca, Minn., Jon Braun of Cato, Maddie Davis of Bayport, Minn., Danielle Formanek of Webster, Josh Gustafson of Minocqua, Jeremiah Liend of Bemidji, Minn., Lisa Miske of Anoka, Minn., Kelly Mohn of Woodbury, Minn., Allison Morin of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Christine O'Toole of Iron Ridge, Ashley Sager of New Richmond, Marie Sallman of Roseville, Minn., Warren Taylor of Plymouth, Minn., Brin Waskow of Prescott, Ariz., Maddie Weber of Edgerton, Kendra Yarke of St. Paul.
Admission is $11/adults, $9/seniors, and $5/students. Due to the nature of the show, no one under age 11 will be admitted into performances. Tickets may be purchased or reserved through the University Theatre Box Office in Kleinpell Fine Arts or by phone at 715-425-3114. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Box Office.
Photo: L to R: UWRF students Kelly Mohn, Danielle Formanek and Warren Taylor rehearse the telling and staging of a ghost story called "The Peony Lantern" for "Kwaidan: Strange Tales from East Asia," a play created by the ensemble.