Wayne State College

'Smokefall' Examines Family Devotion and Personal Vulnerability

Published Wednesday, October 19th, 2022


Written by Noah Haidle and directed by Mollie Young, "Smokefall" is presented by WSC theatre students Nov. 10-13 in the Black Box Theatre.

Violet is pregnant with twin boys who ponder their future in utero. Meanwhile, her cynical husband crafts his exit, her father slips into senility, and her daughter shutters her speech.

“Smokefall,” by Noah Haidle, is presented by the Wayne State College Theatre Program on Nov. 10-13 in the Black Box Theatre in the Lied Performing Arts Annex of the Peterson Fine Arts Building. Shows are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 per person, with free admission for WSC students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available at the door, with no reserved seats. Seating is limited. It is performed with permission by Dramatists Play Service, Inc and is an Associate Show for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region V.

A poignant portrayal of family dynamics, “Smokefall” examines vulnerability and devotion with maniacal and magical fortitude. Sometimes serious, sometimes comical, the play spans four generations in search of love’s curative effects. “Smokefall” contains mature themes. The play’s title, derived from T.S. Eliot’s poem “Burnt Norton,” portends a smoke cloud at twilight.

Cast members include Ashly Gunderson of Ida Grove, Iowa; Alycia Gage and Cam Turner of York, Neb.; Ethan Wibben, Abigail Wieseler, and Madeline Meyer of Wayne, Neb.; Zachary Chromy of Schuyler, Neb.; Collin Hain of David City, Neb.; Molly Shafer of Curtis, Neb.; Cayden Otte of Fort Calhoun, Neb.; Owen Brodd of North Bend, Neb.; Maria Sellers of Omaha, Neb.; Christina Schwartz of Lincoln, Neb.; and Macie Ebmeier of North Platte, Neb.

Mollie Young, adjunct professor of theatre, is director and intimacy coordinator. Brian Begley, associate professor of theatre, is technical director, scenic designer, and lighting designer. Costume designer Anna Mae Kruger of Wayne, Neb., is assisted by Claire Jensen of Aurora, Neb., and Alycia Gage. Nathania Mercelina of Willemsted, Curaçao, is sound designer. Avery Partida of Wayne, Neb., is stage manager with Miranda Holcomb of Lincoln, Neb., serving as assistant stage manager. Laynee Merrill of Trenton, Neb., and Chloe McMichael of McCook, Neb., are props coordinators. Hunter Rumery of Cook, Neb., operates the light board with AJ Stashkiw-Risor of Wayne, Neb., managing sound. House managers are Emily Ames of Norfolk, Neb.; Autumn McIntyre of Omaha, Neb.; and Noel Huff of Yankton, S.D. Noel Huff also handles publicity.

The lighting, set and costume crews include Joe Adams of North Bend, Neb.; Shayne Bennett of Palmer, Neb.; Eve Gilmore of Sioux City, Iowa; Liam Hilbers and Courtney Ullarich of Norfolk, Neb.; Jayven Krepel and Hunter Schilling of Columbus, Neb.; Jei Rosenbaum of Bellevue, Neb.; Heather-Lillie Tomka of Lyons, Neb.; Debonaire Williams of Lafayette, La.; Tessa Masek of Wahoo, Neb.; Nathania Mercelina; Owen Brodd; Claire Jensen; Alycia Gage; Avery Partida; Chloe McMichael; Hunter Rumery; AJ Stashkiw-Risor; Noel Huff; and Laynee Merrill.

For more information, contact Mollie Young at [email protected].