"Spoon River Anthology" Opens February 22


Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


In the world of the theatre, the director is the boss. Choreographing the movements of a cast take a clear vision and a strong personality. Doing it for a grade takes grit.

“Get over there and stand in line, you can only stand, sit or fall,” said Larisa Netterlund. “Play your part, but do it silently. No talking.”

Netterlund is preparing for her production of the Spoon River Anthology, by Edgar Lee Masters. “Its a tale of small town citizens looking at things as they honestly were,” Netterlund said. “It caused a big stir in 1963, it really captures humanity.”

Spoon River, which takes place in a small town of the same name, addresses the town’s darker problems, including alcoholism, suicide, and depression, bringing them out from behind closed doors.

Netterlund directs the cast of the show that debuts on February 22, at Burtness Theatre.

“It’s exciting to take on this role,” said actress Abby Shoenborn. “I take on acting because it’s like an addiction to me.”

100 years of hard work

“The theatre at UND has always served and enjoyed the work of majors and non-majors from across campus,” said Department Chair Kathleen McLennan. The department celebrates its 100th season this year.

“I love that the stage is my classroom,” sophomore Kjerstine Trooien said. “I prefer it over any of my classes. It’s a great place to learn and it’s a really personal atmosphere.” Trooien, a biology major, is one of seven cast members.

Students like her make it all the worthwhile for Netterlund to teach. “It’s really, really fun,” she said. “There is a certain level of controlled chaos that goes on, especially the way I’m directing it. We’re constantly trying to come up with new ideas, always on our feet trying new things.”

Netterlund is directing Spoon River for her graduate thesis.

Spoon River Anthology debuts on Tuesday, Febuary 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Burtness Lab Theatre. Tickets will be available at the door.