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Alumna returns to design set for 'Peter and the Starcatcher'

October 2, 2016

Amy Campion, Chadron State College alumna, right, demonstrates set painting techniques to CSC theatre students. Campion is the guest scenic designer for Peter and the Starcatcher Oct. 6-9, 2016. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College) Amy Campion, Chadron State College alumna, right, demonstrates set painting techniques to CSC theatre students. Campion is the guest scenic designer for Peter and the Starcatcher Oct. 6-9, 2016. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)
Amy Campion, left, Chadron State College alumna and guest scenic designer for "Peter and the Starcatcher," consults with her former instructor Scott Cavin, lighting designer for the production Oct. 6-9, 2016. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College) Amy Campion, left, Chadron State College alumna and guest scenic designer for "Peter and the Starcatcher," consults with her former instructor Scott Cavin, lighting designer for the production Oct. 6-9, 2016. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)
Amy Campion, Chadron State College alumna, left, demonstrates set painting techniques to CSC theatre students. Campion is the guest scenic designer for Peter and the Starcatcher Oct. 6-9, 2016. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College) Amy Campion, Chadron State College alumna, left, demonstrates set painting techniques to CSC theatre students. Campion is the guest scenic designer for Peter and the Starcatcher Oct. 6-9, 2016. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)
Amy Campion, Chadron State College alumna, left, instructs theatre major Leo Haselhorst in set painting techniques. Campion is the guest scenic designer for Peter and the Starcatcher Oct. 6-9, 2016.(Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College) Amy Campion, Chadron State College alumna, left, instructs theatre major Leo Haselhorst in set painting techniques. Campion is the guest scenic designer for Peter and the Starcatcher Oct. 6-9, 2016.(Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)

CHADRON – Twelve Chadron State College actors will present the prequel to “Peter Pan” in Thursday through Sunday performances of “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

The cast will portray orphans, pirates, sailors, villains and mermaids during their production of the five-time Tony Award winning play by Rick Elice. The play, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, combines old-time British Hall humor, children's theatre, story theatre and silent movie music and sound effects.

The production, recommended for the entire family, will be performed in Memorial Hall’s Auditorium Thursday through Saturday of homecoming week at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are free for CSC faculty, staff and students and $5 for the public. Reservations can be made by calling 308-432-6207 or emailing boxoffice@csc.edu.

A special performance for regional high school students and teachers Thursday will be the culminating event of CSC’s annual Theatre Day.

Thanks to funding from the Dean’s Council, CSC alumna Amy (Petersen) Campion was invited to campus as the guest scenic designer. She has been the Boulder Dinner Theatre’s set designer for 10 years. Her husband, Jeremy Campion, also a CSC graduate, is the accountant for the organization.

As she and CSC theatre faculty member Scott Cavin corresponded about productions and prop rentals for the Fort Robinson Post Playhouse this summer, they discovered CSC would be performing the same play done earlier this year by Campion’s employer.

“It’s fantastic to have a CSC graduate with her experience come back for a residency,” Cavin said.

Not only was Campion able to design the set built by Cavin and his students and attend her former teacher’s classes to demonstrate set painting techniques in September, she was also able to give a second life to the false proscenium she and her assistants constructed for “Peter and the Starcatcher” at the Boulder Dinner Theatre.

“It took hundreds of hours to find the objects for the false proscenium. We used 11 pounds of hot glue to attach costume jewelry, toys, phone, remote controls, golf clubs and other cast-off items from rummage rooms and thrift stores to it. Then we painted it gold to achieve a Victorian look,” Campion said.

The show is one of Campion’s favorites.

“It’s cleverly written and I’m super excited the timing worked out for my tight schedule so I could come back to CSC. This school is dear to my heart,” she said. “The students here can see that it is possible to have a career in theatre.”

Chadron State College theatre professor and director of the fantasy comedy, Roger Mays, said the cast and crew are not trying to create the illusion of reality in this production.

“We want to evoke your imagination. We invite you to pretend with us on this highly interactive journey,” he said.

Mays said the audience will thrill at the theatricality and simplicity of this ingenious production, as well as addressing the secret desire of many humans who want the ability to fly.

“Of the 80 shows that I've directed, this is both one of the more challenging and theatrically unique productions. It is quite simple in the sense that sparse set pieces and clear stage pictures tell most of the story,” he said. “The 12 actors continually rearrange this magic world to move the audience freely through time and space as the story unfolds.”

—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator

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