USF Theatre Presents Pilgrim’s Progress

Story by Debbi Jones

The University of Sioux Falls Theatre and Communication Studies Department’s showing of Tom Key’s Pilgrim’s Progress opened Friday, April 11th 2014. The play is an adaption of Part 1 of the novel, Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan. The show is directed by Joe Obermueller, who is the new head of the theatre department at USF.

In response to the show, Bette Gerberding said, “This was a true work of art. Some of the best theatre I have seen.” Gerberding is the retired director of theatre at Brookings High School, an associate professor of theatre history at USF, and an acclaimed theatre professional throughout the state of South Dakota.

This production of Pilgrim’s Progress is also musically accompanied by members of the USF Concert Band. The music is rearranged and directed by Jonathan Neiderhiser. In regards to the musical rearrangements, Neiderhiser said, “I’ve taken themes by English composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695), a contemporary of John Bunyan.”

Dakota Harper, the stage manager of the show said, “This show is much more than an artistic retelling of the classic novel, Pilgrim’s Progress. This show perfectly illustrates the ultimate collaborative nature of successful theater. From the ensemble acting, to the set building, to the music.”

The set was designed by Jeff McDonald. It was built by Participation in Theater students, the Theater Production class, and various other volunteers including Debbi Jones and Janet Obermueller.

“I added the moss,” said Janet with pride. “I thought it needed an extra touch of something.”

The final performances of Pilgrim’s Progress take place Tuesday (April 15th), Wednesday (April 16th) and Thursday (April 17th) at 7:30 pm. Tickets are free for USF students and faculty. To reserve seats, call the box office at 331-6787 or purchase them online