Mary Keahey is no stranger to working behind the scenes or being onstage, and is again doing both jobs in the Storybook Land Theatre cast.
Keahey ran Northern State University's scene shop for three years while pursuing a degree in music education.
I put in a lot of hours in the NSU scene shop, Keahey said. It was really challenging, but I learned a lot and was grateful for all the skills I developed.
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Keahey recalled that NSU's productions of Light in the Piazza and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (part of the Northern Fort Playhouse) were among the most challenging because of the size and number of set pieces. But despite the challenges, they were among the most rewarding because the finished product was so awesome to see in performance.
Equally at home onstage, she appeared in NSU's Drowsy Chaperone, Three Musketeers, Miss Saigon, Tick, Tick, Boom and Fiddler on the Roof.
Keahey was also part of Northern Fort Playhouse for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. She served as technical director and appeared onstage in Leaving Iowa.
Now she will pull double duty with SBLT. After leading the construction effort to build the Empire State Building for SBLT's Top Job!, she gets to hang up her tools and focus on playing long-suffering wife, Adriana, in SBLT's original show, The Comedy of Errors, opening Tuesday at the castle.
Adriana can be very sweet as long as she gets what she wants, Keahey said. But if you cross her, watch out!
This summer has been one of the most fun theater experiences, she said.
I think the great way we all mesh really translates well to our audiences.
This week will be end of the season for Keahey. She and her husband, Lucas, are moving to Vermillion at the end of the month.
My husband will be attending the University of South Dakota's physicians' assistant program starting in late July, Keahey explained. I have no idea what I'll be doing yet.
Comedy of Errors is SBLT's original offering, written by director Brian T. Schultz. Performances will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m. Wednesday and Friday.
Schultz describes it as being loosely based on the play of the same name by Shakespeare. He also calls it a madcap romp through the castle.
We did 'Comedy of Errors' as part of Young People's Theatre's 'Shakespeare on the Green' earlier this year, Schultz said. We gave it a two-minute pantomimed introduction. It was fast; it was funny. People were chasing each other around the stage, never entering from the same place twice. I thought young kids would enjoy seeing that idea developed a little further.
Antipholus and his servant, Dromio, played by Nick Brandt and Isabella Seaton, arrive in Ephesus to search for their long-lost twins, also named Antipholus and Dromio (Chase Roesch and Emily Davis). While the search begins, Antipholus' wife, Adriana (Keahey), sends him on what should be a simple errand to fix a necklace. Adriana, her sister, Luciana (Liz Lewno) and the jeweler, Angelo (Schultz), encounter a different Antipholus and a different Dromio at different times.
Take a guess how that will turn out, Schultz said, laughing.