NIU Theatre and Dance Alumni and Faculty Collaborate on “Naughty Thoughts”


DanszLoop Chicago, under the direction of NIU School of Theatre and Dance professor of dance Paula Frasz, presents “An Evening of Naughty Thoughts,” two plays interpreted in dance, on the last three weekends in October.

Three NIU School of Theatre and Dance alumni now living and working in Chicago are joining with three of their former professors to present the world premier of this new dance/theatre mash-up. The three Northern Illinois University alumni who will take part in this performance are Alanna Nielsen (BFA - Dance Performance ’14), John Schmidtz (BA - Math/Economics 1970/MAPA 1978) will dance and act in “Of a Joy that Kills,” one of the plays featured that evening. Angela Kring (BA - Theatre Arts, 2012) will handle and oversee the stage management duties for the entire evening. Nielsen and Kring will reunite with their former NIU professors, Paula Frasz, choreographer (Dance), Melanie Parks, costumes (Associate Dean CVPA) and Lucas Krueger, playwright and director (Theatre).

DanszLoop Chicago has made a national name for itself by interpreting the written word in dance. Award-winning choreographer Paula Frasz and her troupe of acclaimed dancers present two plays by NIU and Chicago playwright Lucas Krueger. “Naughty Thoughts” portrays a girl who is tortured by the imaginary friend who makes her think inappropriate thoughts. The dance/play is a pastiche of contemporary music and modern idioms that result in a funny, yet disturbing collection of movement images.  “Of The Joy That Kills,” adapted from “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, is set in the 1890's and shows a woman who thinks her husband is killed in a train accident. For a moment, she experiences feelings of freedom and joy. When she is told it was a mistake, her husband lives, she drops dead. Using period costumes and movement references, the quartet explores female repression and Victorian social mores.

Making this an even more unusual event is its venue. The storefront at 2155 W. Irving Park Rd, Chicago, will house the performances. Audience members will enter the storefront, be offered a beverage and then be ushered to the rear of the property where the first dance/play will be performed in the former stable. A half hour later, during the intermission, the audience will gather in the west storefront where “Of the Joy That Kills” will be presented. Each play will feature unique lighting ideas. “Naughty Thoughts” takes place in a campsite, and “Of the Joy That Kills” features period lamps that light the performance space.

Tickets at $20 are available through brownpapertickets.com. The Saturday, October 18 performance will include a benefit for the company. For further information visit danszloopchicago.com, or call 630-391-1620.

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