UW-Green Bay’s ‘Balkan Women’ earns bid to regional theatre festival

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre production of The Balkan Women has been invited to perform at the American College Theatre Festival Region III in Saginaw, Mich., next month.

Out of 40 participating entries from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, eight were selected for performance at the festival. Other universities invited to this year’s regional festival include UW-Stevens Point, Purdue University, Western Illinois University, University of Michigan-Flint, Oakland University, Goshen College and the University of Indianapolis.

The Balkan Women - Josh Weishaar as Vlaco, Amy Kooiman as Samira and Suzi Lindner as Amina

The Balkan Women - Josh Weishaar as Vlaco, Amy Kooiman as Samira and Suzi Lindner as Amina

“Our entire program is honored to be invited, and the company is thrilled to have their work showcased at the festival,” said Laura Riddle, University Theatre managing director. “We are looking forward to the challenges of touring with the production.

“I am also excited that our local audience and supporters will have another opportunity to see this production. Guest Director Carmen Roman helped us to create a stunning piece of theatre that brought together all of the elements that make our program exceptional.”

The goals of the American College Theatre Festival are:

• to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs;

• to provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight; and achieve professionalism;

• to improve the quality of college and university theater in America;

• to encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays, especially those written by students; the classics, revitalized or newly conceived; and experimental works.

The last UW-Green Bay production to perform at the festival was Red Herring in 2006.

The Balkan Women, written by Jules Tasca, was originally directed by guest director Carmen Roman, an accomplished actress who has played with the Door County Peninsula Players and has Hollywood credits to her name.

Three student actors will compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition: Derek Knabenbauer, a junior from Green Bay who played Herak; Suzi Lindner, a senior from Poynette who played Amina; and Josh Weishaar, a junior from Marquette who played Vlaco. Each is eligible for a $500 scholarship.

Student Lighting Designer April Smet, a senior from Fond du Lac, will compete in a design competition.

A benefit performance of The Balkan Women will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 5, in the University Theatre.

Tickets are $20 and are available at the door only. For questions call Riddle at (920) 465-2441, or Performing Arts Administrative Specialist Linda Parins at (920) 465-2944.

Suzi Lindner, senior, musical theatre major, Poynette.
Character: Amina Jusic.
Amy Kooiman, junior, theatre performance major, Freedom.
Character: Samira Jusic.
Josh Weishaar, junior, theatre performance major, Marquette.
Character: Vlaco.
Derek Knabenbauer, junior, theatre and psychology major, Green Bay.
Character: Herak.
Alison Tyler,
sophomore, theatre performance major, Stoughton.
Character: Jela.

Jessica Breest, senior, musical theatre major, West Bend.
Alyssa Falvey, freshman, theatre major, Waukesha.
Megan Hedden, senior, musical theatre major, Dodgeland.
Meg Tresedder, senior, theatre performance major, Wausau.
Jade Landry, freshman, theatre performance major, Kohler.
Derek Sklenar, junior, theatre performance major, Prairie Du Chien.
Jason Szmanda, junior, theatre performance and psychology major, East Troy.
Don Yarbrough, junior, theatre performance major, Antigo.

Carmen Roman, guest director.
Matthew Fayfer, senior, theatre performance, Appleton.
Position: assistant director.
Prof. Jeffery P. Entwistle, scene designer.
Prof. Kaoime Malloy, costume designer.
April Smet, senior, technical theatre major, Fond du Lac.
Position: lighting designer.
Donne Hansen III, senior, theatre tech major, Oconto.
Position: sound designer.
Timothy P. Kiefer, senior, applied music major, Germantown.
Position: composer.
Prof. R. Michael Ingraham, technical director and assistant sound designer.
Corey Pinchart, theatre shop supervisor, assistant technical director.
Erin Torkelson, senior, technical theatre major, Appleton.
Position: stage manager.
Brittni Werner,
sophomore, theatre major, Wausau.
Position: assistant stage manager.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: To see a video about the play, read the original news release and download high-resolution publicity photos of the actors, click here.)