MORRIS, Minn. - The University of Minnesota, Morris Theatre Discipline closes its 2017–18 season with Step on a Crack, a children's play by Suzan Zeder. Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Siobhan Bremer, this whimsical production tells the story of Ellie, a young girl struggling to come to terms with the addition of a stepmother into her family.
To escape her real-life problems, Ellie runs away to a fantastical world with her imaginary friends. Through her adventures, she learns to accept the changes in her life and her need for a mother.
This heartwarming story is brought to life with an intricate set that blends fantasy and reality, creative costumes constructed from sustainable and recycled materials, and energetic physical performances by out-of-this-world characters.
Bremer believes this play is important because Ellie is a relatable character for children and adults alike. "Every child wants to be accepted as they are, to be loved and independent," she says. "Ellie wants to be a kid and keep what is comfortable with her dad, but when he remarries, the household changes. Lucille wants to join the family, but wants Ellie to be a healthy and happy child. She wants communication, which is key to a healthy family and all future relationships. Those worlds collide at times."
Bremer is assisted by Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Lucas Granholm '12 as scenic designer/props master, with Austin Watson '18, Willmar, assisting. Granholm is also collaborating with Alyssa Kraft '19, Oakdale, on lighting design, with Kai Pavus '19, Turnip, assisting them. Heading up sound design is Scene Shop Manager Benjamin Fink, with Thomas Pederson '18, Alexandria, assisting. Alyssa Olsen '19, Cloquet, is costume designer, with Hibah Hassan '21, Prior Lake, as assistant costume designer and Costume Shop Manager Anne Thorson leading the build process. Other student crew members include Tucker Johnson '20, Fergus Falls, as stage manager, Hailey Stobb '21, Milaca, as assistant stage manager, and Hannah Retzer '19, Byron, as stunt coordinator.
Ellie is played by Katie Booth '20, Shoreview, with Ellie's Father, Max, played by Mickey Capps '18, Rodgers, and Ellie's stepmother, Lucille, played by Natalie Wallraff '20, Blaine. Other cast members include Ellie's imaginary friends: Lana, played by Laura Steblay '19, Ramsey; Frizbee, played by Caroline Vodacek '19, New Auburn; and The Voice, played by Kaitlyn Sederholm '21, Elk River. Understudies include Nolan Pewe '21, Bottineau, South Dakota, for Max and Frizbee; and Kayla Robertson '21, Big Lake, for Voice and Lana.
Step on a Crack runs April 13 at 7 p.m. and April 14 at 1 p.m., with invited school performances April 11–13 and 16–18. Tickets ($4) are available at 320-589-6274 or tickets.umn.edu.