Senior writes, produces and stage manages play

Zach Bailey

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Senior student director Casey Howe (left) talks with senior stage manager Kort Lindblad (right) about a stage direction for the reading of “Morning, Noon & Night.” Lindblad wrote his own senior capstone project and it will be performed Dec. 2-3. (Photo by Taylor Nyman)

Senior student director Casey Howe (left) talks with senior stage manager Kort Lindblad (right) about a stage direction for the reading of “Morning, Noon & Night.” Lindblad wrote his own senior capstone project and it will be performed Dec. 2-3. (Photo by Taylor Nyman)

Zach Bailey / Winonan

All people have their hobbies, whether they are reading, playing an instrument or participating in a sport; there is always something people like to do during their free time. Unfortunately, for college students, it can sometimes be hard to find time for these hobbies between homework and part-time jobs. Kort Lindblad, a senior theatre major and film minor at Winona State University, is able to turn his hobby into his work.

For his senior capstone project, Lindblad has written a play that will be performed as a stage reading. With Lindblad writing the play and fellow student and friend Casey Howe directing, the possibilities are endless. Lindblad had written plays in the past, but it was not until a few years ago that his love for it truly increased.

“I took the playwriting class [at Winona State] with Miles Webber, and before that I had just written little, tiny bits and pieces of stuff on my own; nothing fully formed,” Lindblad said. “Then, in that class, it gave me a chance to do stuff that was fully thought out and fully structured.”

Lindblad first became interested in theatre in high school. He began seeing plays at a younger age, and as the years went on, the more involved he got in the theatre industry, the more interested he became.

“What I learned in the playwriting class was, ‘yes, I actually really do like doing this.’ It’s something that I enjoy quite a bit,” Lindblad said.

Even though Lindblad enjoys acting, he mentioned how his true love lies behind-the-scenes. This brought him to discover the project for his senior capstone. With each capstone having a different set up than another, the opportunities were endless. After deciding on a studio show, where a big part of the capstone involves the producing of the play, Lindblad found his topic and ran with it.

The play is made up of branching scenes over a 24-hour period, which brought on the title, “Morning, Noon & Night.”

“It’s not a traditional three-act plot structure. What really inspired me to do that is how I noticed that on stage it’s really malleable, you don’t need a whole lot of detail to express spaces,” Lindblad said.

Lindblad explained how the play begins in a radio station, then transitions to people driving in a car listening to the radio show, and then we follow a person the car drops off, moving down the line following different aspects of the world around them. With a structure like this, Lindblad was able to make the play visit many locations with multiple different characters.

“It’s more for comedic relief, with absurd characters in an absurd world,” Howe said.

Howe said how the play has more of a “Monty Python-esque” feel to it. He said it seems like more of a sketch comedy that is not taking itself too seriously.

“The more I learned about theatre and some of its unique strengths, I learned that I want to do a play that utilized those in a fun way,” Lindblad said.

Kort Lindblad stage manages his senior capstone project in the Black Box Theatre of the Performing Arts Center Monday evening. Lindblad wrote, produced and stage managed his own work, “Morning, Noon & Night.” (Photo by Taylor Nyman)

Kort Lindblad stage manages his senior capstone project in the Black Box Theatre of the Performing Arts Center Monday evening. Lindblad wrote, produced and stage managed his own work, “Morning, Noon & Night.” (Photo by Taylor Nyman)

“Morning, Noon & Night,” however, is not Lindblad’s writing debut at Winona State. Last year, Lindblad participated in Winona State’s annual “24-Hour Theatre,” where a group of students write, cast, direct and perform a play in a matter of 24 hours. Lindblad wrote one of the plays in last year’s “24-Hour Theatre,” with right-hand man Howe directing alongside, similar to “Morning, Noon & Night.”

“It was really fun working with [Lindblad],” Howe said. “We’ve had a bit of a working relationship for a while, either he will write a play and I’ll direct it, or I will write the play and he directs it. It’s always fun to discover the different things that he comes up with.”

Though the production is still finishing up practices, with the main performances featured on Dec. 2-3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Art Center’s Black Box Theatre, this has already been quite an experience for Lindblad.

“All of this has been fun, but nothing comes without its challenges,” Lindblad said.

The initial draft of the play was 20 pages, and Lindblad stated how even though he was urged to add more, he was not sure if adding more would help or hurt the play.

“One thing that was really good was actually the audition process of the show, this was my first chance to really hear the lines being said,” Lindblad stated. “That really told me a lot about certain parts, this line doesn’t play like you thought it would, this is fine, tweak this. Listening to the auditions was a very useful tool.”

Lindblad said one of the scenes actually changed a lot due to the auditioning process.

As this senior nears his final months of college, hopes towards what the future may bring begins to show. After graduation, Lindblad hopes to go home to the Twin Cities and land an internship. Lindblad hopes to be able to write, direct and possibly film in the future.

“The cast is great, they’re dedicated and it’s a really collaborative process with them. I really like hearing their ideas about the play, the scenes and the characters,” Lindblad said. “The same goes for [Howe], I trust him completely, he is able to look at things and what I may have missed.”

-By Zach Bailey