Theater Production Roles Relate to Real Life Personalities and Relationships

For Black Hills State University seniors Tyler Millslagle and Emily Morse, theater is more than just a requirement course for college — it is a common interest that they share together.

Tyler and Emily have been engaged since September 2012 and have been involved in theater life since high school. While both students have been cast in multiple theater productions, their most recent performance had an apparent similarity to their real life relationship.

In the BHSU theater production of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”, Emily and Tyler were chosen as cast for two of the comic strip characters. Emily played the role of Lucy — a confident girl who is used to getting her way. Tyler played the role of Schroeder — a boy who is passionate about Beethoven and skilled at playing the piano.

“When we were all cast as Charlie Brown, we felt like we would have fit better in different parts”, said Morse. They later found out that these two characters were perfect for them in more ways then one.

BHSU’s Associate Theater Professor, Albert Juhrend, is in charge of casting decisions for theatre productions and in charge for putting the recent production together. Professor Juhrend’s casting decisions are based on what each individual’s personality brings to the character.

“Their personality becomes part of the character.”

The couple started to see similar characteristics between their characters personality and their individual personalities as soon as rehearsals started, Juhrend said.

“He’s really passionate about his hobbies, like how Schroeder was passionate about Beethoven”, Morse stated about Tyler.

“She’s full of it”, Millslagle added jokingly.

An on-stage relationship resembling Tyler and Emily’s real life relationship was not recognized until the production reached opening night. The couple likes to start out rehearsing together, but break off individually as the performance date gets closer.

“Everything really fit in place opening night”, the couple agreed. “He [Professor Jehrend] had a vision and he pretty much knew that it was going to be perfect.”

There were multiple scenes in which Lucy was not at all bashful to show her affection for Schroeder, even if Schroeder ignored her.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were married”, sang Lucy while sitting on Schroeder’s piano during the production. Even Schroder touching a picture of hers was an exciting moment.

Both agreed that the roles ended up fitting a lot into their real life.

“We might have been type cast a little bit”, Millslagle said.