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Simpson Productions presents annual Festival of Short Plays at Veteran’s Memorial Park

Eighteenth-annual festival features three, student-directed plays


Simpson Productions closes the 2020-21 season with Festival of Short Plays: Between the Wars on April 16-18, 2021 at Veteran’s Memorial Park and Amphitheatre in Indianola. The festival features three, student-directed plays with live shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

There is no charge to attend the live event, but pre-registration is required. Visit simpson.edu/SimpsonProductions for additional details.

Friday’s opening-night performance begins at 6 p.m. CDT. Saturday and Sunday performances begin at 1 p.m. Seating opens 30 minutes prior to the start of each production.

If a performance is canceled due to weather, an additional viewing will take place Sunday at 4 p.m. The seating area is not covered and patrons are advised to provide their own lawn chairs or blankets. Masks and social distancing of six feet between parties are required. 

Simpson College theatre seniors 2021
Simpson College senior theatre students, clockwise from top left: Jack Strub, Maslin Boten, Brayden Biersner, Will Exline and Eden Moad.

This will be the first live performance by Simpson Productions since “The Pirates of Penzance” on March 8, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic caused all following shows to be delivered virtually. 

“The students have done an incredible job in keeping theater alive during a very difficult time,” said Ann Woldt, assistant professor of theatre. “Their creativity and hard work has made it possible for us to share live performances again.”

Simpson Productions has held six virtual performances dating back to last year’s Festival of Short Plays. The senior theatre students told Woldt they wanted their final production to be live while observing COVID-19 safety protocols.

“This year has been hard for arts organizations all over the country,” Woldt said. “What's most important is that we continue to tell stories whether those stories are presented through film, radio plays, or in this case, outdoor productions.”

The 18th annual Festival of Short Plays explores the dynamic era between World War I and II when theatre in the United States came of age. This year’s short plays reflect the burgeoning style taking place in theatres at the time.

“The People” by Susan Glaspell, directed by Will Exline
Succeeding the repeal of the Sedition Act of 1918 and the Espionage Act of 1917, Susan Glaspell’s “The People” centers around a struggling magazine company dedicated to sharing uncensored stories of real people. Using humor and personified radical ideologies, the play follows the editor, who must choose between shutting down the magazine or continuing to publish his unpopular opinions. Directed by Will Exline.

“Suppressed Desires” by Susan Glaspell, directed by Jack Strub
Set in the roaring twenties, Susan Glaspell’s “Suppressed Desires” follows an eccentric New York housewife hellbent on unlocking the subconscious desires she believes are ruining her marriage. In this hilarious, satirical jab at peoples’ desire for answers, a couple slowly unwinds into madness. The show feels more like a modern Saturday Night Live skit than a play more than 100 years old. Directed by Jack Strub. 

“The Undercurrent” by Fay Ehlert, directed by Eden Moad
Annie has always felt trapped. Set in New York City in 1938, Fay Ehlert’s “The Undercurrent” looks at the life of young Annie, the daughter of German immigrants. She no longer lives with her doting mother and abusive father, but Annie still feels trapped and tethered by invisible ties that bind. Directed by Eden Moad.

About Simpson College
Simpson College is a private, liberal arts college located in Iowa with campuses in Indianola, West Des Moines and online. Founded in 1860, the college has 1,268 undergraduate and graduate students. Simpson offers 74 majors, minors and programs in addition to three graduate programs. Outside of the classroom, Simpson is a member of the NCAA Division III American Rivers Conference, hosts eight Greek houses on campus and sponsors many extracurricular options for student involvement.
Contact Information
Cathy Cole, vice president for Marketing and Strategic Communication
Direct: 515-961-1595
Email: cathy.cole@simpson.edu