North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central theatre students present original drama “Under the Circumstances”

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Cassie Nelson as Phoebe and Kyle Ryan as Dave
Cassie Nelson as Phoebe and Kyle Ryan as Dave

North Central College presents the student-written and –directed drama “Under the Circumstances,” a rhetoric look at relationships and their demise.

Three performances of “Under the Circumstances” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12, 13 and 14 in North Central College’s Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., 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 Katie Legner of Mahomet, Ill., wrote and directs the original 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.

The show follows the destruction of a happy relationship, taking the shape of a rhetorical argument. It argues that under certain circumstances, anyone would do anything—including infidelity.

The first act represents ethos, presenting the characters in a favorable, empathetic light. The second represents logos, showing that despite their good character and their love for one another, infidelity is an issue for some due to circumstances from the past. And, the third—representing pathos— portrays the emotional upheaval following ones actions.

Legner has found the writing and directing process to be eye-opening, especially through her studies at the College. "Though it is not my first time directing, I think this has been one of the most valuable learning experiences I've had," she said. "Because of all the classes I've had here at North Central and the opportunity I was honored with to assistant direct under Assistant Professor of Theatre Carin Silkaitis this fall, I find that I have learned a lot about my process and what works best for me as a director."

The cast for “Under the Circumstances” features (role, actor, town, year, major):

Phoebe: Cassie Nelson of Lincoln, Neb., a sophomore majoring in music and musical theatre
Dave: Kyle Ryan of Plainfield, Ill., a freshman majoring in speech communication
Harry: Mike Allison of Downers Grove, Ill., a senior majoring in broadcast communication
Therapist: Hillary Haymond of Plainfield, Ill., a sophomore majoring in musical theatre

The crew includes (position, name, town, year, major):

Assistant Director: Savanna Richardson of Terre Haute Ind., a sophomore majoring in musical theatre
Stage Manager: Sarah West of Clarendon Hills, Ill., a junior majoring in theatre and entrepreneurship/small business management

This show contains adult language and sexual content.

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).

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. With more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.