MARSHALL – Drama teacher Nadine Schmidt of Southwest Minnesota State University will star in an upcoming virtual concert performance of a play called Nickel and Dimed, by Joan Holden, produced by Des Moines-based theater company TheatreMidwest , in Iowa.
The readings are free and will be broadcast continuously at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. RSVP here: https://www.theatremidwest.org/online-rsvp.html, and an email will be sent on the day of the show with viewing instructions.
Schmidt said she and other cast members would be available for a chat after the Sunday reading.
She saw the opportunity thanks to company founder Tom Woldt, who served as guest director at SMSU for two plays, in 1986 for As You Like It, and again in 2018 for One Man, Two Guvnors. . “He started the company a few years ago and posted alumni on our Facebook page about the play. Schmidt said. “Being an actor in a rural location and someone who teaches theater, it is difficult to find professional acting opportunities. I was delighted to hear ”, she said. “This is my first experience with it – the first time I’ve had a live virtual audition.”
The play is based on the book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America and has a message that Schmidt likes. Her character, Barbara, is a middle-aged, middle-class woman who sneaks in to experience life as a low-paid service worker.
“The author of the book, Barbara Ehrenreich, worked in low-paying jobs in Florida, Minnesota, and Maine, and wrote about her experiences trying to find affordable housing, paying bills depending on what she earns and other things that low-wage workers are. asked to do, such as working for free before and after shifts. He combines my love of the theater with a love of issues surrounding economic justice ”, Schmidt said.
TheatreMidwest’s webpage describes its mission as “Professionals creating work relevant to people in the Midwest, with particular attention to the voices of women and other under-represented groups. “
The show has an eight-of-three-state distribution and will air through a program called StreamYard. “It is a broadcasting application specifically for productions”, Schmidt said. “It has a lot of features to improve production.”
During a three-day recording period, each member of the cast will play their parts from home, Schmidt said. These will then be edited to create the final product. “If I came to a live concert reading, there would be actors, usually standing behind desks, reading the script and playing some parts. There are no full-fledged costumes or sets. The emphasis is on the play’s text and the characters. This is what we do here, in a virtual setting.
Schmidt said it has been a very rewarding learning experience. “They are very organized, professional and patient”, she said.
During a recent theater history class, Schmidt said she spoke to students about theater in these times of COVID. “We are now living a moment in the history of theater, responding in a unique way to the pandemic. I am so excited to be a part of one of these projects.