WMU News

University Theatre stages Neil Simon production

Oct. 24, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The University Theatre presents Neil Simon's "Jake's Women." The show opens on Thursday, Oct. 26, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 4, with one matinee and six evening performances.

One of the most talented comic playwrights of the twentieth century, Simon combines laughter and pain in the story of a novelist, the women in his life and the complications that come from having an overactive imagination.

Evening performances of "Jake's Women" begin at 8 p.m. in the Multiform Theatre, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 26-28, and Nov. 2-4. The single matinee begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29. The Thursday, Oct. 26, opening night reception is sponsored by the University Theatre Guild with refreshments provided by The Galley.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for students. To purchase tickets, call the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 616 387-6222 weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. The ticket office is also open two hours before the performances.

"Jake's imagined encounters with the women in his life force him to see himself more clearly and to live fully in the moment," says director Karla Koskinen, associate professor of Theatre at Western Michigan University. "The bright, talented, enthusiastic students in this department have worked diligently to bring this story to life."

The newest member of the theatre faculty, Koskinen came to WMU this year from Barat College in Lake Forest, Ill., where she was the head of the acting and directing program. She has studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and holds a bachelor of arts in acting/directing from Marquette University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from Illinois State University. Koskinen helped found Lake Forest and Barat College's annual outdoor theatre "Shakespeare on the Green," where she directs a Shakespearean production each summer.

The student cast features senior Michael Agrusso as Jake, the imaginative novelist; sophomore Casey L. Van Wormer as his wife, Maggie; sophomore Kristen Totten as his first wife, Julie; freshman Anne Sunseri as their daughter Molly; junior Hilary Hernandez as Molly as a young woman; sophomore Rebecca Raye Jones as Jake's sister, Karen; senior Dawn Kiera Scanlan as his psychiatrist, Edith; and freshman Lakisha Bowen as Jake's girlfriend, Sheila.

The student production team includes Renee M. Bell (scenic design), Sara A. Ausberger (costume design), Thomas Cavnar (lighting design), Christopher Thomas Ericson (sound design), Tara L. Matkosky (assistant director) and Christine Rouleau (stage manager).

Media contact: Shauna Thieman; 616 387-6222; shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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