ST PETER —
Gustavus Adolphus College’s next theatrical production is characterized as a “comic book for the stage.”
The Department of Theatre and Dance will present the world premiere of Dan LeFranc’s “Origin Story” in Anderson Theatre beginning Thursday. The play is directed by theater instructor Cory Hinkle and LeFranc -- winner of the New York Times Emerging Playwright Award -- is scheduled to be in attendance on opening night.
This convention-bending production of “Origin Story” is a flashy and contemporary hybrid of a comic book and the theatre. The play is performed as a live-action graphic novel centered on the character “Pronoun” who writes a comic book that has special powers.
Despite the play’s catchy comic book facade, “Origin Story” is a tragedy about the difficulty of being an intersexed person in our society. Origin Story is a contemporary adaptation of the hermaphrodite myth and highlights the limitations the pronouns “he” and “she” can create.
Pronoun represents a person who does not fully fit into either the “male” or “female” category. This struggle provokes Pronoun to write their own story, the Origin Story. Pronoun takes the audience on a journey into how an intersexed person relates to the rest of the world.
Hinkle’s interpretation of this new play embraces the comic book style to its fullest while also addressing the social justice issue that is at the heart of LeFranc’s play.
The scenic design, created by Micah Maatman, is an abstract suburban landscape with platforms for the actors that extend into the audience, breaking the fourth wall that is usually present between performer and audience member.
Costume design, created by Larissa McConnell with assistant Jessica VanKempen, follows the comic book theme with heightened style and vibrant colors. Sound design was created by Twin Cities-based composer Michael Croswell and lighting design was created by faculty member Terena M. Wilkens.
The Acting Company includes Bethany Davidson, Jason Dennis, Annie Galloway, Autumn Ike, Karla Leitzman, Jerica Massey, Brady Mueller and Rob Ward.