North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College theatre students present original drama ‘House of Cards’

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North Central College presents the student-written and –directed drama “House of Cards,” an innovative play about relationships that unites multiple forms of theatre.

Three performances of “House of Cards” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, 7 and 8 in North Central College’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. Tickets are $5/adults and $3/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

North Central College senior Ali Ledbetter of Coal Valley, Ill., directs the production as part of the College’s Student Director Series. In the Student Director Series, members of the College’s theatre faculty invite students to submit a proposal to direct their own theatrical productions and the best are chosen.

As a first-time director, Ledbetter was particularly intrigued by the casting process, when dozens of actors would perform short scenes from the play during auditions. “Seeing so many performances from the show helped me define what I, as a director, wanted from my actors,” she says. “In fact, a few auditions changed the direction of a certain passage from how I originally saw it in my head.”

An original piece compiled by Ledbetter, “House of Cards” is a visual story that follows two lovers, Natalie and Aaron, as they fall in and out of love. Four human shadows accompany Natalie and Aaron during the show to convey the inner thoughts, emotions and pasts of the main characters. As all six characters become entangled in their relationships, the audience watches how love alters their identities.

Ledbetter says writing and directing the show was among her most rewarding experiences as a theatre student at North Central. “Writing involved quite a bit of collaboration,” she says. “The play has come a long way since the early writing stages and is sure to showcase the creative efforts of the North Central team behind it."

The cast for “House of Cards” features (role, actor, town, year, major):

Aaron: Kevin Williams of Nashville, Tenn., a junior majoring in musical theatre
Natalie: Olivia Crary of New Glarus, Wis., a freshman
Aran: Ross McIntire of Galva, Ill., a senior double majoring in theatre and English literature
Natalee: Jessica Martin of Madison, Wis., a junior majoring in theatre
Aarin: Patrick Loftus of Elk Grove Village, a sophomore majoring in art education
Natali: Bethany Schick of Yorkville, a sophomore majoring in theatre

North Central College offers majors in theatre or musical theatre and a minor in dance. A full range of acting and dance classes is available, as well as opportunities to direct a full-length production. Students of all majors can participate in musical and nonmusical performances, actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College’s four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty. Visit to learn more about studying theatre at North Central College. 

USG Corporation and Navistar, Inc. are underwriting sponsors of North Central College’s 2011-2012 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).