Students rehearse for the play "Meteor Shower"

Caption: From left to right, Suzi Fitterer (Corky), Meghan Sheets (Laura) and Ben Shortt (Norm) rehearse “Meteor Shower.”

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Northern State University Theatre Program will present the play "Meteor Shower" by Steve Martin in the Johnson Fine Arts Center Black Box Theater. Performances will run at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 29, March 1 and 2, as well as at 3 p.m. on March 3.

Steve Martin’s imaginative comedy, “Meteor Shower,” pits two married couples against each other in a battle of wits and wills. When Corky and Norm have Laura and Gerald over to their Ojai, California home to watch a rare meteor shower, the sky starts falling—literally and figuratively. As the alcohol flows, time and space begin to bend along with their relationships. This production asks: Is love enough when one’s subconscious comes calling?

“In a lot of ways, this play is about the secret lives of married couples,” according to director Kane Anderson, assistant professor of acting and directing. “In his slyly surreal way, Martin captures the in-jokes, secret glances, and unspoken tensions that exist in marriages. Chiefly, the couples are playing their own games that feel reminiscent of Albee’s play ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ And what we think we see happening on stage surprisingly isn’t necessarily what is happening at all.”

Suzi Fitterer, a graduating senior with a theatre major, plays Corky, one of the hosts of the get-together.

“Playing the role of Corky has challenged me in more ways than I thought it would. Portraying where she and Norm are in their marriage is new to me. Our characters have been in a relationship for so long that there are special interactions I never would have thought about before stepping into this role,” Fitterer said.

Freshman environmental biology and history double-major Ben Shortt, who made his Northern Theatre debut in last semester’s “Heathers,” plays Norm, Corky’s husband. Jokingly, Shortt finds the biggest challenge in playing Norm, “having to be so painfully normal!”

“Seriously, the most enjoyable aspect of this project is being a part of this amazing cast as we exercise our acting skills with these often unruly characters. Every rehearsal is a mix of fun and unexpected moments,” said Shortt.

Anderson’s directing approach with this project is heavily influenced by his ongoing training in Michael Chekhov acting technique. He won grants from Northern’s Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) to pursue teacher certification in the technique.

“Absurdist plays often require us to step outside of our logical thinking and embrace new ways of accessing the material,” Anderson said. “Using the psychophysical insights from the Chekhov approach has been a truly generative means of helping our young actors surprise themselves with inventive choices on stage.”

"Meteor Shower" is intended for ages 13 and older, due to adult language and sexual situations. Viewer discretion is advised for children under 13.

Northern Theatre’s artistic staff includes Dr. Anderson; Noah J. Files, assistant professor of theatre design; and Brian Omland, lighting designer and production manager for the School of Fine Arts.

Ticket Information

All tickets to “Meteor Shower” are general admission and will be available at the door. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and Northern faculty/staff. Students will be admitted for free. Payment will be cash or check only; debit or credit cards will not be accepted. There will be no advance or online ticket sales. For more information, contact the Northern School of Fine Arts at 605-626-2497.