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Black Box Theater Coming to Northeast with Latest Production

Black Box Theater Coming to Northeast with Latest Production

NORFOLK, Neb. -- Old England will take center stage later this week, with the audience just a step or two away.

Northeast Community College is trying what is known as the black box theatre with its latest production, “Silent.” The play will be presented on the stage like usual, but the audience will be sitting up there as well. 

Adam Peterson, who is directing the play, said sitting up close helps to draw the audience into the production. The play takes place around the time of the Vikings, and includes some people fleeing the king, being pursued in what is mostly a travel tale. 

“What we have in effect done is turned our stage from what is called a proscenium theatre to a black box theatre. With a black box theatre, the audience sits on stage on risers, against the walls, on three sides of the action. We have turned everything 180 degrees, so everything happens up on the stage,” Peterson said. “It makes for an immersive and even gritty, personal experience. It was something that this story called for. You needed that immediacy with this story to come to life.” 

Peterson, a Northeast communications/theatre instructor, said this is the first time he has done black box theatre since graduate school in the United Kingdom. 

“Seating definitely is limited for this production,” Peterson said. “I believe we will have about 80 seats.” 

No reservations are being taken for the Northeast and Norfolk Community Theatre production, with tickets on a first-come, first served basis. Performances are Thursday through Saturday, April 25-27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cox Theater. There also will be a matinee on Sunday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. 

It is a small cast, mostly of Northeast students. The cast includes Bridgett Long of Dodge, a first-year student; Ashley Brown of Stanton, an alum of Northeast; Alex McKeown of Battle Creek, a second-year student; Presley Wolf of Battle Creek, who is a high school student; Dustyn Loefler, who is a Norfolk High School graduate; and Payton Robinson of Madison, who is a first-year student. 

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students under 18, and free for those with a valid Northeast ID. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the performance. 

Silence cutline 

Alex McKeown, a second-year theater major from Battle Creek, rehearses a scene with Presley Wolf (right), a student at Battle Creek High School. They are part of the Northeast and Norfolk Community Theater production of Silence, which opens Thursday, April 25. (Northeast Community College)