MARQUETTE, Mich.—The Northern Michigan University theater season will kick off with A Paper Tiger in the Rain by David Swanson, winner of the Albert and Mildred Panowski Playwriting Award at NMU. The play will have a Tuesday-Saturday run over two weeks: Sept. 30-Oct. 4 and Oct. 7-11. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., with additional 1 p.m. matinees on Saturdays. The play will be staged in the James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $15 for general public and $10 for students. They can be purchased at any EZ Ticket outlet or online at www.nmu.edu/tickets.
The play revolves around Nathan, who has just been promoted to editor in chief of the Willow Falls Beacon Telegraph. Nathan learns that the newspaper is in financial trouble. As the situation worsens, he is faced with saving the newspaper while also trying to win the heart of his newly widowed former flame. Before it’s over, a young blogger named Ben helps Nathan through a painful lesson about waiting for impossible dreams and depending on false promises.
Professor Paul Truckey will direct the NMU production. Rusty Bowers, an NMU student from Marquette, will play Nathan for his senior capstone project. Other cast members, along with their roles and hometowns, are:
Brownstone: Sam Cole, playing Jess;
Marquette: Jim Green, Damon; Tom Lee, Edward; and Jill Vermeulen, Ava;
Woodstock: Korinne Griffith, Cathy;
Cook: Dorsey Sprouls, Ben;
Beloit: Alex Marks, Laura;
Onalaska: Liz Trueblood, Kelly.
A Paper Tiger in the Rain also was a semifinalist for the Playwrights First Award at the National Art Club in New York City. Swanson is an aerospace engineer in Wichita, Kan. He found his love for theater in college, began writing several years later and transitioned from actor to writer and director.