Winona troupe performs Higbee's newest play @byline name:By Ruth NerhaugenA Hager City playwright's newest award-winning play will get its first full-fledged staging next weekend in Winona, Minn.
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
A Hager City playwright's newest award-winning play will get its first full-fledged staging next weekend in Winona, Minn.
St. Marys University will perform Rand Higbee's "The Lightning Bug" Oct. 1-3.
"I'm quite happy about it," Higbee said.
The play, which he described as "a mix between a 1930s screwball comedy and a comic book," was a winner in the 2009 Wisconsin Wrights contest.
It was given a staged reading in Madison and another at the 2009 Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska, he noted, but has not previously had a full performance.
Judy Myers from St. Mary's theater department encountered the new play at the Alaska conference in June. After talking with Higbee there and getting the go-ahead from school officials, she decided to put it on the school's fall schedule.
"Lightning Bug" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1-2, plus a 3 p.m. matinee Oct. 3, in Page Theatre. The production coincides with St. Marys' family weekend celebration.
He attended auditions to select the four-man, four-woman cast and a rehearsal, Higbee said, and will be on hand opening night.
"I've lived here about 12-13 years," he said, "and I never realized what a very good theater department they have down there."
Higbee explained that he attended a spring production in Winona. "They had good, solid, performances."
He didn't want to give away any of the play's surprises, except to acknowledge that there's a super hero element in "Lightning Bug."
Tickets are available by calling 507-457-1715, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the door. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students.
Higbee, originally from Spearfish, S.D., has a theater degree from South Dakota State University and a master's in playwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
His plays have been performed across the country, from Florida to Alaska. They are popular in junior highs and high schools, Higbee said, but also have been performed by college, community and professional theater troupes.
One of his most popular full-length plays, "The Head that Wouldn't Die," a spoof of 1950s-60s science fiction movies, was staged a couple of years ago in Ellsworth. Last year it was performed by the Philip Norton Players in the United Kingdom.
Higbee said his latest project is "At Home with the Clarks," a spoof of 1950s-60s television sitcoms in the style of "Leave It to Beaver" or "Father Knows Best."
A first draft is done, he said, but added, "My plays are always a little hard to describe."
For more about his plays, go online to www.randhigbee.com.