28 March 2009

Looking at Morris and theater past

I found a the recent copy of Profile, the leading alumni publication of my alma mater, at my friend's home. This quarter's edition features a look at the dramatic alumni. Noted Twin City actress Ann Michels and Morris alum gets a feature. She was around during my term there but mostly did musicial pursuits. She was an incredible vocalist. After college it was and long and steady progression until she got more involved with theater. I actually saw her a while back in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. I think I wrote about that on the blog. However, I can't seem to find it.
Few compatriots of my era are mentioned although there is one reference to a Natalie Diem. We were in Marat/Sade together. As I recall, she was intense. I made an effort not to get in her way. And, to complete the rhyme, she appeared as Charlotte Corday.
Brent Roske gets no mention in here (The Profile) albeit because he never graduated from UMM. He spent about 3 years total in Morris and now is an emerging filmmaker (for lack of a better term). In those years, I chased his shadow either in the cafeteria or in the theater dept. My favorite role Brent played was the cook in Mother Courage. Although I would also nominate him for the non-traditional role as PFM Grill Cook.
Nate Metcalf does not get mentioned either although he's an Artistic Associate with the National Theatre for Children and has written 3 award winning one acts according to his My Space. These day I think of him as the Anti- Dustin Diamond- if you squint a little you could see the resemblance. He also resembles the Charlie Brown composer Vince Guaraldi. Another intense actor he was but Nate did have a lighter side and also appeared in Mother Courage. Oh yeah he also won on Jeopardy.
Nate's co-conspirator at UMM was Zach Anderson. Both arrived at Morris from the rural burg of Dasel-Cokato. I may have run into them in high school past at a Dasel Cokato Charger speech meet but's a blog story for another time. Back to Zach. It seemed that Zach was in nearly every production at Morris during his time there. Big roles, small roles, funny, serious, Shakespearean, absurdist- he played them all. I directed him once in an acting and directing class project. He was so versatile, something for which I aspired at the time. I was still a hack at best. He moved on to larger things that weren't necessarily theatrical after college but important and world changing- You can find out more about Zach here:http://www.zachandjules.blogspot.com/ He still uses his phenomenal dramatic abilities in some capacity I believe.
I don't have enough time to write about Mike Chmiel, Fred O, Andi B, or the astute Forest Hawk. And there's plenty of others that came after but really do I want to write about them. No.

1 comment:

Julie said...


Well well well! Long time no know! My wife Julie stumbled across your wonderful blog after noticing that you had linked to her blog. I wanted to thank you for the kind words that you penned about me on your site.
It has been a long time since Morris, hasn't it? How are you? I hope life is treating you well. Are you still in MN? As you can no doubt see from our site we have been living in Hungary for the past 8 years. My wife and I will celebrate our 9th year of marriage in August. We have two little boys...and life is grand.
I'd love to catch up. Drop me a line if you can.

Take it easy, man!