Northern Theatre to Present ‘An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein’

Students rehearsing for play

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Northern State University Theatre Lab will present "An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein" in the Johnson Fine Arts Center Black Box Theater.

Performances will run at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 and 20 as well as at 3 p.m. on Nov. 20.

"An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein" features a collection of short plays by the famed poet and writer. Each darkly comedic play revels in Silverstein’s witty—and at times shocking—sense of humor. Among the plays are “Bus Stop,” where a man waits with a sign reading, “Bust Stop,” to confront a woman with a long list of slang for breasts, and “The Lifeboat is Sinking,” wherein a wife pressures her husband to throw his mother overboard from an imaginary sinking lifeboat. In “The Best Daddy,” a father gives his daughter the pony she always wanted—except he shot it dead—or maybe he didn’t? Each play promises many twisted turns.

Producer Kane Anderson describes the shows as “wickedly unexpected.” He adds: “I knew Silverstein from his poems and books like ‘The Giving Tree.’ I knew he had a sly, almost sinister bent to his humor. I was surprised that ‘An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein’ has such a delicious bite with its narratives. This project is a great entry point into directing for students as wrapping our brains around Silverstein’s plots is a fun challenge.”

The show features several student directors as part of The Lab initiative where Theatre Program faculty mentor students in producing plays in a workshop style. Student director Dylan Eckart, a Music Education major from Circle Pines, Minn., is making his directing debut with “The Lifeboat is Sinking” and “Smile” while also appearing as an actor in “Bus Stop” and “Buy One Get One Free.” Though this show is keeping him very busy, he is enjoying the process, saying, “Every rehearsal is a new chance to play. We discover new jokes each time and I’m really looking forward to sharing all our hard work with Northern’s audiences!” 

The student directors are Dylan Eckart (Music Education), Suzi Fitterer (Theatre), and Lydia Jae Saxton (Art and Theatre). The remaining plays are directed by Theatre faculty and staff including Kane Anderson, Noah J. Files and Brian Omland. Omland is making his directorial debut in anticipation of directing his first full-length play at the end of the year.

This is a mature-audiences production. Please use discretion with bringing younger patrons.

Northern’s artistic staff includes Dr. Kane Anderson, Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing; Noah J. Files, Assistant Professor of Theatre Design; and Brian Omland, Production Manager for the School of Fine Arts.

“An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein” is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the NSU School of Fine Arts at 605-626-2497.

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social, and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $150 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.