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BHSU Summer Stage presents laughter, singing in seventh season lineup

 Hannah Kloiber, business administration and theatre major from Parker, Colo., and Logan Sulentic, attended, will show off their golf skills in the Black Hills State University Summer Stage's first performance of the season, The Fox and the Fairway by Ken Ludwig.
 Veteran cast member Tyler Millslagle, speech communications major from Rapid City, portrays Mr. Toad, the daring adventurer, in The Adventures of Mr. Toad, a musical by Piers Chater Robinson.

Tytus Spivey, theatre major from Winder Barrow, Ga., and Tyler Steffens, speech communications major from Box Elder, play the Buckle brothers in the comedy Lie, Cheat and Genuflect by William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, the final performance of the season.

There will be no shortage of quick-witted humor, eccentric characters, rivalry, and daring adventures in the seventh season of the Black Hills State University Summer Stage. With curtains opening in less than a month, the cast has been putting in long hours to prepare for the upcoming productions.

The plays are chosen and directed by Bert Juhrend, BHSU associate professor of theatre; however, the students do everything else from lighting and set design to acting and promotions.

Veteran cast members Hannah Kloiber and Tyler Millslagle said participating in summer theatre, while hard work, is fun and provides great experience. “You really learn discipline because you have to learn lines for three shows,” Kloiber said.

All three plays in this season’s schedule are by writers the theatre company has used in previous years, according to Kloiber, business administration and theatre major from Parker, Colo. “The audience really shows us what works, and Bert usually goes off that,” she said. 

This year’s cast, aside from Kloiber and Millslagle, are new to Summer Stage. Millslagle,speech communications major from Rapid City, said it is nice having a new group of eager students to take on various roles adding that he hopes they all return next summer.

Kloiber said the cast has been busting out in laughter as they go through the scripts, and she hopes audience members have the same reaction.

The season starts off with Ken Ludwig’s The Fox and the Fairway July 11, 12, and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and July 14 at 2:30 p.m. The Fox and the Fairway begins as Quail Valley Country Club prepares to take on archrival Crouching Squirrel in the annual inter-club golf tournament. With a sizable wager at stake, the tournament plays out amidst three love affairs, a disappearing diamond, objectionable sweaters and an exploding vase.

The Adventures of Mr. Toad is a musical by Piers Chater Robinson, the writer of the last two popular Summer Stage musicals, Through the Looking Glass and Peter Pan. The second show runs for two weeks: July 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 p.m. and July 21 and 28 at 2:30 p.m. The Adventures of Mr. Toad is based on the popular book by Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, which tells the tale of the fall and rise of the impulsive Mr. Toad through a series of daring adventures. This performance includes performances by area elementary, middle and high school children.  

“It’s nice developing that interest early,” said Millslagle, who plays Mr. Toad in the show. “I’m really excited. It is going to be a fun show.”

Lie, Cheat and Genuflect, a comedy by William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, wraps up the season Aug. 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 4 at 2:30 p.m. The story follows brothers Billy and Tom Buckle who area in big trouble. They are desperate to get their hands on their late grandfather’s money to pay off loan shark Pizza Face Petrillo.

All performances will be in the Pangburn Laboratory Theatre, reservations are recommended. To make reservations or learn more visit, call 605.642.6171, or email Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors $9 for students and $6 for ages 17 and under. Season passes are also available: $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $20 for students.

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