School of Theatre and Dance to put on ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’


Kaitlyn Cabina (left) and Mathew Yee (right) perform at a dress rehearsal for “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” on Tuesday night. The play is set in post-WWII rural Europe and follows villagers as they struggle to rebuild; the play opens April 4.

By Deanna Frances

NIU’s School of Theater and Dance isn’t going to let a little snow storm or spring break fun hold back “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.”

The School of Theater and Dance will perform the German play at the O’Connell Theater. The show opens today, and it will be performed throughout this weekend and next weekend.

“The Caucasian Chalk Circle” is a play that was written in 1944 by German modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht. The plot includes a play within a play, and the scenes begin in post-WWII Europe. Two rural villages argue about how their towns should be restored after the disaster left over by the war.

The play then shifts to tell the 1,000-year-old story of a young woman named Grusha, who rescues a royal baby from the chaos of revolution.

The cast and crew of the production have had a bit of a time struggle during this production, said Tamara Heath, cast member and sophomore acting major. Heath will play a gypsy and a farmer’s wife.

Due to snow days and spring break, the cast had quite a few days where it was unable to rehearse over a busy month-and-a-half rehearsal schedule.

“We’ve had to do a lot of extra rehearsals,” Heath said.

Another cast member, sophomore acting major Auriel Jones, said the shortened rehearsal schedule made the cast’s experience more realistic.

Jones will play as Shauva and Mother.

“It’s definitely been a trial,” Jones said. “But it’s more like a professional rehearsal schedule.”

The cast said that it was able to pull everything together with guest director Michael Goldberg, who commutes from Chicago for rehearsals.

The cast members said since they all cooperated so well together, it made the process easier.

“It’s been really cool working with this cast,” Heath said. “We all get along really well.”

Tickets for “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” are on sale at the School of Theater and Dance box office in the Stevens Building. Performances will be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday night and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.