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Monmouth's 2017-18 theatre season features four productions

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Four directors will take their turn at the helm of Monmouth College theatre productions during the 2017-18 theatre season.

The four productions are split evenly by location, with the Fusion Theatre in downtown Monmouth and the Wells Theater on campus each hosting one during the fall semester and one each during the spring semester.

This fall, Amanda Grissom ’19 and Assistant Professor of Theatre Ron Zank will each direct a production that holds special meaning to them.

On Oct. 5-8 at the Fusion Theatre, Grissom will direct two one-act plays by pioneer feminist playwright Susan Glaspell. A Pulitzer Prize recipient, Glaspell hailed from Davenport, Iowa, near Grissom’s hometown of Eldridge, Iowa.

Trifles is a classic murder mystery based on a real-life case Glaspell covered while working as a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News. Woman’s Honor is a satirical piece about an attractive young man accused of murder who chooses to suffer for a crime he did not commit rather than spoil the honor of the woman with whom he’d spent the night of the murder and who could give him an alibi.

A holiday production comes to the Wells Theater stage Nov. 16-19, as Zank will direct his adaptation of the operetta Babes in Toyland by Glen MacDonough and Victor Herbert.

Titled Saving Toyland, Zank’s adaptation centers around the mishaps that occur in Toyland when Mother Goose flies the coop and no one knows where to find her. Among the issues: something is seriously wrong with the Christmas toys being made; and Little Miss Muffet, Jack and Jill, and the other nursery rhyme characters aren’t even rhyming. Can Tom Tom, the Piper’s Son and the rest figure out what’s going on and help save Toyland?

Theatre professor Doug Rankin will direct Philip Ridley’s The Pitchfork Disney Feb. 22-25 at the Fusion Theatre.

The Pitchfork Disney marked the arrival of a new and disturbing brand of contemporary drama known as “in-yer-face.” Ridley's dreamlike vision of a post-apocalyptic world will be certain to challenge and leave the audience unsettled.

The major productions will conclude April 19-22 when Assistant Professor of Theatre Vanessa Campagna directs Paula Vogel’s And Baby Makes Seven at Wells Theater.

The 1984 comedy was written when Vogel “still had the energy to envision a queer utopia.” Consequently, the action follows the queer threesome of Anna, Ruth and Peter as they embark upon parenthood – a journey that begins with killing off their imaginary children.

In addition to the full productions, Fusion Fest IV, a 24-hour play festival, will open the season Sept. 8-9. Six short productions will be written in less than 24 hours and performed on the Fusion Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

To purchase tickets for a production or for the whole season (at a 20 percent discount), go to