THAD department presents “A Dog’s House”


Brynn Artley

From left to right, senior Jake Leif, first-year Ian Loretz and first-year Jessica Campbell rehearse a scene from the theatre and dance department’s upcoming production, “A Dog’s House.”

Brynn Artley, Features Reporter

The Winona State University theatre department’s production “A Dog’s House” opens Wednesday, Nov. 15, inviting viewers to both laugh and contemplate ethics in this dark comedy featuring two couples and a murderous dog.

Written in 2015 by Micah Schraft, “A Dog’s House” follows the story of Eden and Michael as they struggle to decide what to do after their pet kills the neighboring couple’s poodle. As the two contemplate whether their dog meant to do it and if they should tell their neighbors, Eden and Michael also begin questioning their relationship.

The production stars first-year Jessica Campbell  as Eden and senior public relations major Jake Leif as Michael.

Campbell shared how she prepared for the role.

“I am almost completely opposite from my character. So what I did is I sat in my dorm and I looked in the mirror and I just started yelling at myself. It sounds super weird, but it actually worked,” Campbell said.

Unlike Campbell, Leif said he could relate more to his character.

“Some of the similarities between myself and the character are a little bit too close. He’s a graphic designer working in communications and doesn’t have a job. In about a year, I’ll be in communications without a job,” Leif said.

The production also features Becca Borchardt, a senior theatre and business administration major, and Ian Loretz, a first-year biology major, as Nicole and Bill, the neighboring couple.

“I think the biggest thing we had to work on was remembering it’s still a comedy, at some points we got really dark,” Loretz said.

Leif also said that the show’s dark comedy was a challenge.

“The dark comedy aspect of this show is really different from anything I’ve ever done, especially anything I’ve ever done here on campus,” Leif said. “Just being able to find those shifts between comedy and [the] real darkness of this show is really difficult, but it pays off.”

Assistant stage manager Ben Glomski, a senior film studies and theatre major, said that while the show has been challenging, the actors’ work and improvement is evident.

“We have come so far since we started. We ran into a lot of road blocks, we were having to do a lot of rescheduling because we were having so much trouble with a few scenes and just the progress that our actors have made has, to me, been phenomenal,” Glomski said.

Stage manager Stephanie Trypuc, a junior public relations and theatre major, said she hopes students will come to see the work that the cast and crew has done.

“I know from being a student who’s been part of a lot of productions it’s always really powerful when other students that don’t need to come see it, come see it,” Trypuc said. “I think that it’s just a really cool thing to bring students together.”

“A Dog’s House” runs Nov. 15-18 at 7:30 pm and Nov. 19 at 2:00 pm in the Performing Arts Center’s Dorothy B. Magnus Black Box Theatre.

Admission is $6 for students and $12 for the general public.

Leif said that while the show is not for kids, it is a dynamic experience for all who come see it.

“This show has really pressured me to think about what decisions I would actually make in these situations and I still don’t know,” Leif said. “[The show] pulls you into it. It’s very interactive in a certain sort of way. Not your childish, ‘what should we do?’ interactive, but what would you do in this situation and I think that’s really intriguing. [The show] moves so quickly. It’s funny and it’s sad and it’s frustrating and I think it has a lot for everybody.”