Humor, romance part of Clark State production ‘Red Herring’

Need a clue for live weekend entertainment? The Clark State Theatre Arts Program will mix several genres with its fall performance.

Take a trip back to the early 1950s to find three love stories, a murder mystery and nuclear espionage in the noir comedy “Red Herring” at 8 p.m. today, plus Nov. 4 and 5, and matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 6 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center’s Turner Studio Theatre.

In 1952, a Communist-hunting senator’s daughter is engaged to a Soviet spy and a detective tries to solve a murder as marriage and other explosive devices figure in. Theresa Lauricella, “Red Herring” producer and professor of theatre and program coordinator for theatre and music, said the show works well for the program.

“The play features multiple, unique characters for each actor to portray and some will play more than one character, allowing them to stretch within their craft,” she said. “Likewise, students engaged in entertainment technology build the set, props, and run lights, sound and crew scene changes.”

The Clark State Theatre Arts program offers two distinct degrees in theatre including an Associate of Arts degree in Theatre, where students learn about acting, stagecraft and scripts. Students who complete the program can transfer to a four-year college or university to complete their Bachelor of Arts in Theatre.

Another program was just added, the Associate of Applied Science in Entertainment Technology, focusing on stagecraft, lighting, electrics, audio, rigging, video, computer-aided design and welding. The program prepares students who complete the degree for entry-level careers in various areas, such as set construction, sound engineering, and lighting for theatre, film, video, and event productions, Lauricella said.

She said another exciting factor is several program alums have returned as artists to give back to the program by sharing their experiences after going on to complete their bachelor’s degree at four-year programs.

Aleksandra “Sasha” Kozlova is a graduate and first-time director along with longtime director Paden Frank. Acting alums include Zach Roberts, Taylor Elizabeth Nelson and Emily Parsons. The ensemble cast includes alumni Lindsey Tomlin and Windom Mesure and current students Abbie Hawke and Dawson Hudson, with this the latter’s first role on stage.

Behind the scenes, Andrew Darr joined the production as a guest lighting designer, regularly designing lights and sets for Beavercreek Community Theatre.

“Having Darr share such a stunning, saturated lighting design has been excellent for students to see his dedication and artistry to the craft,” Lauricella said.

The Clark State Theatre Arts Program will present its next student production in April, the award-winning “Clybourne Park.”


What: “Red Herring”

Where: Turner Studio Theatre, Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 South Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: 8 p.m. today, Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5, and 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 6

Admission: $15

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