The Playhouse Celebrates Fifty Years of Theater at K

By Katie Schmitz, News Editor

The Spring 2013 production of Into the Woods marked the beginning of the Kalamazoo College Playhouse’s 50th anniversary.  

Kendal Kurzeja ’16 commented that Into the Woods was a “monumental musical and an incredible piece of work.” K plans to continue with this theme of monumental work for the rest of this season, and have many other elements planned for this year to celebrate their 50 year anniversary.

Ed Menta, the Director of K’s Technical Theater, went into detail about what the school will be doing this year in commemoration.

“We put a new sign on the playhouse, donated by an anonymous donor, to showcase where the Playhouse is. Alumni and faculty will be coming in for the Reader’s Theater during homecoming week and this winter, we will be re-doing one of the shows that was done in the original season, 50 years ago, Firebug.”

In addition, the Playhouse has received new seating and carpeting and a display will be put up in the library showing scripts and posters from previous productions.

This year of celebrating the playhouse’s long time existence is also used as an opportunity to recognize everything that the Theatre Department has done for K.

“[The Department] has sent many students into wonderful careers in theater,” noted Gail Griffin, who during her time at K was very involved and attached to theatre, even serving as the interim chair of the department in 1995. “It has offered all students … an opportunity to be involved in an intensely collaborative endeavor where a lot of learning takes place.”

Kendal Kurzeja has benefited greatly from the Theater Department during her time at K. “It has provided me with a solid friend group and an awesome group of faculty to talk to,” she stated.

Although the Theatre Department has grown tremendously since its beginning, thanks to Ed Menta and the colleagues he has brought on board, there are plans for even more improvement in the years to come.

“I’d like to see it keep building as our student population keeps building. As the College grows, so will the program,” said Menta.

Griffin stated that it would be nice to see the faculty and students’ involvement increase. “I would love to see the Department have more staff so that the current staff didn’t have to kill themselves all the time!”