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A Look Behind the Scenes of 'Last Summer at Bluefish Cove'

Updated: 01/16/2014 9:52 AM
Created: 01/15/2014 12:38 PM WDIO.com
By: Brittany Falkers

This coming Sunday a group of about 25 UMD Theatre students will hit the road for a festival in Nebraska.  Before they go, however, you have the chance to see the show that's taking them there.

UMD's "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove" is one of only five productions selected to compete in the six-state Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) regional competition.  The festival, held in Lincoln, Nebraska will run from January 19 to 25. 

"It's a festival and they try to bring, what they (Judges) think, are the best college productions," Director Tom Isbell said. 

Over the past 27 years, UMD Theatre has been selected 11 times to present at the KCACFT Regionals.  While UMD has been to this competition before, it's the first time for much of the cast and crew of "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove."

The show focuses on housewife Eva Margolis, who leaves her husband and heads to blue fish cove to find herself.  However, when she arrives she unknowingly stumbles into a community of lesbians.  UMD senior Carla Weideman plays Eva and says the show is really about all of the women at Bluefish Cove.

"It's a romance, a story about these eight women, these chums," Weideman said.  "It's a bit of tragedy, a bit of comedy and just a really beautiful script."

Emily Fletcher is a senior UMD Theatre Student who plays opposite of Weideman in the role of Lil.  She's a self-aware lesbian who falls in love with Eva.  

"When Eva comes in and she's straight, of course Lil' falls head over heels for her," Fletcher said.  "That's sort of where the conflict lies."

Production of "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove" wrapped up in November, but this week the cast and crew are back at on stage at UMD to get ready for competition.

"The outcome is for the students to have this incredible experience of performing for 900 of their peers at other colleges and institutions. I mean that's pretty incredible," Isbell said.

"Last Summer at Bluefish Cove" really looks at what lesbians faced in the 1980's, according to Isbell.  It's a landmark piece in the history of lesbian theatre as being "the first mainstream quality literary piece of its kind."  The show's place in history is not something these students take lightly.  Weideman says they're excited to share this story with their peers.

 "I don't know if we're really looking at it as a competition necessarily, it's just a chance to share the story with more people and we are all so in love with the story," Weideman said.

The encore performance of "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove" is Thursday, January 16.  It starts at 7:30 p.m. on the Mainstage of Marshall Performing Arts Center at UMD.

Tickets are available online at z.umn.edu/CoveEncore or by calling 218-726-8561.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and UMD faculty/staff, and $10 for students.

Tune in to Good Morning Northland Thursday morning for a full look behind the scenes of this highly acclaimed show.

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