One River Preview

One River Preview

The theatre season will kick off Sept. 29 with an original play titled “One River.”


After attending an on-campus session for the “One River, Many Stories” project last November, professor of theatre Tom Isbell got inspired.

“I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Isbell said. “We should have a piece of that.”

This project inspired Isbell to write and direct the first play of this theatre season, “One River.”

The “One River, Many Stories” project focuses on getting everyone in the community to talk about the St. Louis River.

“One River, Many Stories member” John Hatcher didn’t expect that this project would become a play.

“(We thought) let’s do a journalism collaboration and there is no way that you could guess that someone who do a play out of it,” he said.

This play will follow different characters and learn about their personal stories and connections with the St. Louis River.

“I just wanted as many different angles as possible,” Isbell said.

Isbell has been working on this story for over a year now and is still making changes. He says that there were a number of things he wanted to touch on, but there were so many stories to chose from.  

“One thing that became really obvious is that we couldn't think of this as the definitive collection of stories,” Isbell said.

“A documentary-style play just shows how creative and how excited I think different people were about this project, which is pretty cool,” Hatcher said.

This production will also be entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theater (KCACTF), which is a national theater program involving around 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide. UMD enters one production a year, and has hopes of this play being selected.

“It’s a new type of story telling which would be interesting in a festival,” Isbell said.


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