North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central stages “Quake” and the quest for love

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306,

Dec. 6, 2010—In January, North Central College students will perform “Quake,” a comical yet thought-provoking play by award-winning playwright Melanie Marnich. The story follows the misadventures of Lucy in her time-warped, cross-country journey to find the love of her life.
Four performances of “Quake” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6, 7 and 8, and at 2 p.m. Jan. 9 in the College’s Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. Tickets are $10/adults and $8/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit   

The central character Lucy crosses the continent in search of an elusive balance between independence and commitment, career and family, extraordinary achievement and ordinary existence. In a succession of contorted affairs, she fails to reconcile her driving need for ideal love with the realities of modern romance.

Director Deborah Palmes, North Central professor of theatre, says, “I love this play and how it beautifully and astutely captures the essence of how we women approach our quests for love in a variety of ways—many of them disastrous. Let’s admit it, ladies. As we look back at our former selves and remember doing whatever it took to find ‘the one,’ we have to say we’ve had some serious lapses in judgment. Through the character of Lucy, we can laugh at our mistakes and applaud ourselves for our resilience.” 
Playwright Marnich uses language in her writing to weave a tapestry that infuses the theatre with a poetic spell, entangling her characters and hypnotizing the audience. Among her many plays are “Calling All,” “Cradle of Man,” “Blur” and “Tallgrass Gothic.” Marnich’s awards include the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, Samuel Goldwyn Award, two Jerome Fellowships and two McKnight Advancement Grants, two Francesca Primus Prizes and inclusion in Lincoln Center’s American Living Room festival. Marnich also writes for television, most notably for the HBO series “Big Love.” For her work on the episode “Come, Ye Saints,” she earned a nomination for the 2010 Writers Guild Awards in television in the Episodic Drama category.

The cast for North Central’s “Quake” are:
Part:  Actor, town, year, major
Lucy: Kati Riess of Naperville, a junior majoring in theatre
That Woman: Megan Ingram of Omaha, Neb., a junior majoring in music
Dancer: Rebekah Thurston of Chatham, Ill., a sophomore majoring in musical theatre
Clerk: Myisha DeSimone of Bolingbrook, a junior majoring in musical theatre   
Guy/Angel Bruce: Derek Bacon of Osceola, Ind., a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Brian/silent date/Janitor: Ross McIntire of Galva, Ill., a junior majoring in theatre
Jock/Roger: Evan Michalic of Elburn, Ill., a freshman majoring in theatre
Cooper/pizza guy: Bryan Renaud of Sugar Grove, a sophomore majoring in musical theatre
Psychiatrist/Mechanic: Garrett Lutz of Aurora, a junior majoring in musical theatre

Crew: Student, town, year, major
Stage manager: Courtney Ohler of Normal, Ill., a junior majoring in theatre
Assistant stage manager: Emma Rothenfluh of Bolingbrook, a junior majoring in English writing and theatre

These performances are among the many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).