Kirk Hauck, a BHSU music and psychology major from Belle Fourche, rehearses his skit for the Matthews Opera House Theater on the Run. Hauck’s skit, “Surprise” will be performed at Common Grounds in Spearfish.
|Pam Wegner, professor of speech and theater at BHSU, rehearses a scene at The Matthews Opera House. Wegner is one of several BHSU staff, faculty, students and alumni participating in this year’s Theater on the Run performances.
|Bobbi Sago, special collections librarian at BHSU, rehearses her skit “Please Have a Seat – Someone will be With You Shortly,” which is part of this year’s Matthews Opera House Theater on the Run.
As a child, Connie Hubbard, adjunct German and piano instructor at Black Hills State University, aspired to be a rock star or a famous actress.
Though she didn’t make it onto the big screen, Hubbard has made a name for herself in local theater, performing in, directing and accompanying numerous productions in Spearfish since her debut in “Oklahoma!” in 2002. She joins several other BHSU faculty, staff, students and alumni on the stage for this year’s Matthews Opera House Theater on the Run, Saturday, Sept. 6.
“It’s almost an addiction,” Hubbard said. “There are few other things in life that compare to the way theater challenges a person and fosters relationships.”
This is the third year of Theater on the Run, which is unique to other theater productions at the opera house because the theatre patrons actually move locations to see performances. Theater-goers will watch six mini plays, each lasting 15 to 20 minutes. Four groups of 25 begin at a different location. After each skit is complete, the groups travel to a new location and watch the next play in the series. Everyone meets at the Matthews Opera House to watch the final two performances.
Hubbard is cast in “Chocolate,” where she plays Mrs. Colby, a housewife whose husband has gone missing.
“It really comes down to the age-old question, ‘Did she or didn’t she?’ with an ironic twist,” she said.
For Kirk Hauck, a BHSU psychology and music major from Belle Fourche, Theater on the Run offers a new experience performing in a more intimate setting. Cast in a three-person skit called “Surprise,” Hauck said the performance is spontaneous and filled with energy.
Bobbi Sago, special collections librarian at BHSU, was cast in “Please Have a Seat, Someone will be With You Shortly.” Sago plays Sue, a woman who has encountered the same man for 18 months while waiting for her appointment at her therapist’s office, but has never spoken to him – until now.
Performing brings Sago back to her roots. She earned her bachelor’s degree in theater and worked professionally in costuming for many years. But it was her love for storytelling that brought her to the local stage.
“I’m perhaps a bit of a ham,” she said. “If there is any possibility of making an everyday event sound amusing, I’ll find it.”
Pam Wegner, professor of speech and theater at BHSU and a veteran at the Matthews Opera House, uses community theater as a creative outlet.
“The shows give me a chance to meet new people, try new things and be involved in an artistic creation, something outside of every day experiences,” Wegner said.
Sago added that participating in community theater creates a strong, positive relationship between the University and Spearfish.
“Spearfish and BHSU rely on each other,” Sago said. “We are one community with a shared history of more than 130 years. It’s important we share our talents with each other.”
Sian Young, executive director of the Matthew’s Opera House, agrees.
“I love the high level of synergy between the University and the Spearfish community,” Young said. “It’s always great to have BHSU students, faculty, staff, and alumni participating in Matthews Opera House programming.
Other BHSU performers include alumni Elysia Pederson, Hannah Kloiber and Amy Soriano.
Shows will be performed at the Matthews Art Gallery, Bay Leaf Café, Spearfish Creek Wine Bar, Common Grounds, and Matthews Opera House.