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Millikin School Of Theatre & Dance Presents The World Premiere Of MISS ME

Millikin School Of Theatre & Dance Presents The World Premiere Of MISS ME

Millikin University's School of Theatre & Dance will cap its 2018-19 production season with the world premiere of "Miss Me" on Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The production will be held in Albert Taylor Theatre located in Shilling Hall on Millikin's campus.

The dramatic comedy "Miss Me" tells the story of a mismatched gang of misfits - including a budding entrepreneur, an overfeeling empath, a daughter of a local politician, and three hired guns off the "dark web" - and their plan to rob a fraternity house, before things get dangerously out of hand. Due to adult themes and language, audience discretion is advised.

Paul Shoulberg, the playwright of "Miss Me," attended auditions at Millikin University in January and cast the show in collaboration with Director Tom Robson, associate professor of theatre & dance. At the time of auditions no script existed, and Shoulberg wrote the script over the next month, writing to the talents of the student actors in the cast.

Tom Robson and the Millikin design team received the script on March 1, when they began conceiving the visual aspects of the production. A typical School of Theatre and Dance process lasts anywhere from six to 12 months from the beginning of meetings through opening night; "Miss Me" will have had roughly two months, more closely mirroring the professional process students might encounter after graduation.

The cast began rehearsal shortly after spring break with playwright Shoulberg in residence for part of the rehearsal process.

"It's really exciting to collaborate across the board with everyone because it's never been done before," said Emily Brandt, a junior musical theatre major from Appleton, Wis. "It's like making a sculpture where you just start with a lump of clay, and then everyone gets to take a little portion of it and create something unique and different."

When asked what it was like to have the chance to perform a role that was written specifically for her, Brandt said, "You don't get to perform something very often that is based off of yourself. In a way, I'm actually really honored."

Paul Shoulberg is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director. His latest film, "Ms. White Light," stars Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez and John Ortiz, and had its premiere in competition at South by Southwest 2019. It will be released nationwide later this year. His previous film, "The Good Catholic," starring Danny Glover and John C. McGinley, was awarded the prize for Best Feature Film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and is available to stream on Netflix. Shoulberg's first feature, "Walter," starred William H. Macy, Virginia Madsen, Milo Ventimiglia, Jim Gaffigan, Neve Campbell and Andrew J. West. He first worked with Millikin University students in 2014 when Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre produced the world premiere of his play "Cracker."

Shoulberg says, "Having had a production done on campus years ago, I got to see, firsthand, the insanely high-quality of actor that the Millikin Theatre Department produces. I didn't just want to have the school do another one of my plays. I was so inspired by the talent pool at Millikin, I decided I wanted to write a piece built around the unique skill sets of specific actors in the program."

Single ticket prices for the performance are $12-14 and may be purchased at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center Ticket Office, by phone at 217.424.6318 or online at kirklandfinearts.com. A $2.50 fee will be charged for credit card purchases. This is a per transaction fee, not per ticket, and applies to online and Ticket Office orders. Kirkland Ticket Office hours are Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.



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