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‘Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ is first play in DWU's new theater

Dakota Wesleyan University’s new theater-in-the-round, located in the Hughes Science Hall, will be the site of this weekend’s comedy, “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.” (Sean Ryan/Republic)

Brittney Kaufmann didn’t make her directorial debut easy on herself.

The junior at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell will direct her first play this week, “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday at the newly built Equitem Theatre-in-the-Round within Hughes Hall on DWU’s campus. Tickets are $5 and must be reserved in advance by emailing damiller@dwu.edu.

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A comedy, the play centers on five bridesmaids hiding from an overdone wedding reception in one of the bridesmaids’ rooms. The small cast lends itself well to the small, intimate setting offered by the new theater, Kaufmann said.

Kaufmann, a theater student with an emphasis in directing, said she settled on the play after assistant professor of communication and director of theater at DWU Dan Miller asked her if she would like to try her hand at directing. She said it’s been fun, even though it’s not quite what she expected.

“There’s a lot more work to put into it than I thought there would be,” she said.

Another special feature of this play, she said, is its distinction as the first play performed in the Equitem Theatre-in-the-Round. The new, small theater, which is a stage with seating all the way around it, rather than traditional stadium style, was built over the summer. Miller said he has long wanted to construct a theater-in-the-round for several reasons. Miller said he was trained in how to stage and direct theater-in-the-round in Scarborough, England, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

In addition, theater-in-the-round is a unique and versatile type of venue, Miller said, that he wanted to give students a chance to experience.

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