“Theater has always been a part of what I did,” he said. And when he interviewed for his position, he was asked how he would reimagine theater at UW-Stout.
“I want to give students the opportunity to not only act and sing, but to design and construct sets, costumes and props – to make connections across areas of the university. These connections are what make theater different at Stout,” Buhr said.
Crew members, like Grace Schultz, fashion and retail, Siren; and Lilly Caines, industrial design, Hanover Park, Ill., are using the skills they’ve learned in their classes and labs to construct costumes, props and the set, following Buhr’s vision.
The cast, their characters, degrees and hometowns are:
- Brayden Thomas: Jeremy Heere. Video production, Osceola
- Reece Halda: Christine Canigula. Game design and development-art, Lakeville, Minn.
- Quincy Aaron: Michael Mell. Game design and development-art, Farmington, Minn.
- Brady Schmieg: Jake Dillinger. Video production, Waconia, Minn.
- Ben Phipps: Rich Goranski. Animation and digital media, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
- Elle Szymborski: Chloe Valentine. Professional communication and emerging media, Eden Prairie, Minn.
- Nina Kitts: Brooke Lohst. Video production, Farmington, Minn.
- Elizabeth Geoffrey: Jenna Rolan. Game design and development-art, Kaukauna
- Nick Michaelson: Jeremy’s dad. Computer and electrical engineering, Manitowoc
- Trevor Zeyen: Mr. Reyes / the Scary Stockboy. Packaging, Hastings, Minn.
- Kyran Luikens: SQUIP. Technology education, Savage, Minn.
They are joined by a large ensemble, with 40 students total to grace the stage. There were 65 students who auditioned, and who were already familiar with the music – even harmonizing during the first read-through.
“I was so surprised by this, but they really identify with the characters,” Buhr said.
It’s the students’ energy that inspires Buhr, and he tries to encourage that commitment by giving them opportunities to “try things they didn’t even know they could do. I want to give the opportunity to succeed, but also to learn from their failures."