Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

‘Drop Dead!’ set to open

Play marks debut for BHSU’s new theatre director
Noah Westerguaard
Drop Dead cast.

Black Hills State University’s theatre program will host its first production of the year, “Drop Dead!” in the Black Box Theatre Nov. 10-12. The play marks the BHSU directorial debut of theatre instructor Casey Hibbert.

“This is my first mainstage university production,” Hibbert said. “I wanted something that would scream chaos.”

To fulfill this whimsical choice for this debut, Hibbert chose “Drop Dead!” as it is a farce-type play and is well-known.

“I was looking for something that was by familiar playwrights,” Hibbert said. “As well as something that would keep the audience entertained for my very first production here.”

“Drop Dead!” was written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, and is a story that employs mayhem and comedy to keep the show intriguing and the audience engaged.

“It’s a play-within-a-play murder mystery,” Hibbert said. “A group of has been actors try to revive their careers with the murder
mystery called ‘Drop Dead!’… and chaos ensues.”

This production encompasses multiple aspects that add elements of surprise and humor.

“Actors start dying, others start dying around them and then murders start happening in their real life,” Hibbert said. “So, their goal is
to stay alive to curtain call and savethe show because the set breaks, props start breaking and everything that goes wrong in theater goes wrong in the show.” Additionally, each cast member in this show has multiple elements to their character.

“I get to play the role of Mona Monet who also plays the role of Bett in the show,” said Logan Culhane, a BHSU student and cast member. “It is a really fun aspect getting to play with you playing a character and then understanding how that character played their character.

“Noah Westergaard, a BHSU student and a cast member, also has a duality to the character he performs.

“I play an actor who is a character, and so the actor I play is very chill, whereas the person he plays is very over the top,” Westergaard said. “I feel like back and forth with also me being another aspect.”

To take on such an intricate story, Hibbert entrusted the talent and dedication of the BHSU students involved with the production.

“BH has an incredible pool of talent and they have taken on these roles and went for it,” Hibbert said. “They were extremely fast being off book which makes my job as a director a lot easier if they are willing to put in the work.”

Not only did the cast offer its skills to the production, but Hibbert provided his directing expertise.

“[Hibbert] is great, I love the way he takes on certain subjects, “Culhane said. “The way we first study [theater materials] and then also put it into practice so we have a lot of time to break down what works best for everyone.”

In addition to helping students through this upcoming production, Hibbert is also giving new light to the theater community for BHSU and providing opportunities.

“Because Casey is new, we are bringing a whole new kind of world to BHSU theater,” Westergaard said. “There are actually like men
in the shows, whereas last year, I am not sure about the opportunities they had for [men].”

In preparation for the upcoming production, the cast and Hibbert came across obstacles that they used to their advantage in making
the show engaging.

“The biggest obstacle was fitting ten people in the Blackbox upstairs…a space of twenty feet by ten feet,” Hibbert said. “It will
be exciting for the audience to see that many people and not feel like they are part of this production.”

This small area also created a special bond with the cast.

“With a show like this when you have a small cast, its like ten people in it, you all get really close really fast,” Culhane said. “So, all of
the rehearsals had more of a family aspect.”

As the debut approaches, Hibbert is confident in the cast and is prepared for the audience to be excited about this production.

“[I wanted to] get people out of their everyday life and just come and laugh for the whole show,” Hibbert said. “It will be laughs
non-stop and the cast is so talented and its going to be great.”