North Central College - Naperville, IL

Theatre students present original drama ‘Blight’ as part of Student Director Series

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Mike Allison as Raymond Bergland and Brad Morrison as Ward Greene
Mike Allison as Raymond Bergland and Brad Morrison as Ward Greene

North Central College presents the student-written and –directed drama “Blight,” an intense examination of an industry-dependent small town.

Three performances of “Blight” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 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 This show contains some strong language.

The original production is written and directed by North Central College senior Ross McIntire of Galva, Ill., 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, which measures the flesh and blood impact of a factory closure in Midwestern America, follows a group of men and women in a small town bar. They have come for various reasons: to meet friends, to avoid enemies and to live their lives.

As the night progresses and the glasses are emptied, the truth about the now derelict factory comes out into the open. The variety of characters—representing everyone from an arrogant car salesman to a tired lawyer—realize exactly how much people in small communities count on each other to get by and how financial and class conflicts between them color their perception of events.

The cast for “Blight” features (role, actor, town, year, major):

Melissa Rogers: Chelsey Walker of Plainfield, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Raymond Bergland: Mike Allison of Downers Grove, a sophomore majoring in broadcast communication
Tom Williams: Kyle Ryan of Plainfield, a freshman majoring in musical theatre
Cecil Bradley: Brett Bush of Clarendon Hills, a freshman majoring in music education
Denise Williams: Anna Kopsky of Bolingbrook, a sophomore majoring in broadcast communication
Ward Greene: Brad Morrison of St. Charles, a junior majoring in music and musical theatre
Justine Williams: Emily Refner of Allegan, Mich., a sophomore majoring in English literature and psychology

The crew includes:

Assistant Director: Colin Loeffler of Sun Prairie, Wis., a sophomore majoring in English literature and theatre
Assistant Director: Hywel Griffith of Pontypridd, Wales, U.K., a senior majoring in theatre
Stage Manager: Frances Wuts of Wheaton, a junior 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. 

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 2011-2012, 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.