Tracker Pixel for Entry

​The brain behind ‘ben and trish.’

by Jack Dura | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | November 25th, 2014

Photo by Gojen Rajkumar

MSUM student aims high with original piece of theater

Local theater is suffering by no means in Fargo-Moorhead.

With the range of shows seen in the last year and still on the roster for 2014, our theater scene is lacking little. Among the main players onstage and behind the scenes, students are major contributors, with one Minnesota State University Moorhead senior adding a new dimension to F-M’s theater scene with his original play set to premiere Saturday, Dec. 6.

Theater arts major Michael Johnson and his friends are premiering a play that has been in his life in one form or another throughout his college career. Through three years at Concordia, some time off for personal reasons and now at MSUM, his original play, “ben and trish.,” is ready, and it’s been a process bringing his brainchild to presentation.

After approaching a friend and his roommate with a raw version of the script several years ago, a read-through in Johnson’s apartment convinced him the show had to go on.

“It was rough,” Johnson said. “It needed some work done on it, but I really felt there was a truth at its core.”

Concerning a brother, a sister and the estrangement between them, “ben and trish.” examines the siblings’ pasts through childhood memories and moments that led up to their estrangement.

Just two people are seen onstage in all of this, a story encompassing numerous genres with a minimalistic approach to it all in design.

“It’s not a spectacle,” Johnson said. “Those who love the big, glitzy, glammy shows with the chorus line and the tap numbers—it’s a very aesthetic show, two actors, no set.”

And that’s how Johnson and his crew members feel any show should start: nailing down the core of a performance with actor and stage before adding any layers.

With intentions to take this show to Minneapolis and beyond, selecting against a set factored into Johnson’s plans for “ben and trish.” The play had a staged reading at MSUM last spring, and beyond this one-night-only performance coming up next week, Johnson has entered it in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

“We do have the ambition of this piece going to Minneapolis for the regional festival, and then in a dream that we have, going to Washington, D.C.,” Johnson said. “That’s the dream.”

With quite a story already building, “ben and trish.” has much in store for its future, and who knows how far it will go.

Johnson knows that those involved—his friends, cast and crew—have given a lot to make his play presentable for its premiere.

“They have just sacrificed a lot to be a part of this, even if it’s just time, and I know it’s so much more than that,” he said. “I think this is a piece that is really a bunch of students getting together and trying to create something that they believe in, 100 percent.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT: “ben and trish.” 

WHERE: MSUM’s Gaede Stage 

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 6

TICKETS: 218-477-2271

Recently in:

FARGO – Early Tuesday morning Captain Andrew Frobig seated himself at his office desk, quickly discovering that the jail count was up. About 76 people had been incarcerated over the long Veterans Day weekend bringing the total…

Best Bets

A Show for Joe

by HPR Staff

Sunday, November 25, 3-10pmSanctuary Event Center, 670 4th Ave. N, FargoA special benefit show for Joe Swegarten and his family. Joe sustained injuries from a hit and run accident this summer. Musicians from across the FM area band…

It's that time of the year when we’ve finally finished up our Halloween candy and started to deck the halls... but who’s rushing the season when it’s the season of the holiday rush? Here at HPR we’ve had shopping and…

The Third Reich—And Making A Country Great AgainI was in first grade in country school on November 9, 1938 when the Nazis, in avenging the assassination of a German embassy official in Paris by a 17-year-old Jewish youth, committed…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

Ah! The holidays are rushing at us, like well like an out of control, careening caravan. Time to start thinking about what to get the chef in the family for Christmas. The days of a new apron or oven mitt are over, or are they?An…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com With the kickoff of the holiday season (and the weather!) underway, it’s almost time for the annual holiday organ concerts at the Fargo Theatre. The concerts, put on as a partnership…

A long time ago (1977) in a galaxy far, far away (20th Century Fox) there was a film released called “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” George Lucas introduced the world to his Flash Gordon-inspired space opera featuring a…

by: Melissa Gonzalezmelissam.gonzalez@outlook.comFrom music, to sculpture, to grand scale murals, one local artist is working tirelessly to share his work with the community.The West Acres Mall is currently hosting its fifth…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

Beer Snob

Warm up with a hot toddy

by HPR Contributor

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.com Fall is once again upon us. The leaves are turning, gardens have been pulled, and Summer’s heat has waned into Autumnal frosts. Along with the change of seasons comes a change of seasonal flavors.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

For all intents and purposes, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party is bankrupt. North Dakota is now a one-party state. That’s sad. Because it wasn’t so long ago that we had an active two-party state government. Now the…