MSU President's Newspaper Column

October 30, 2021

Actors and actresses return to the stage of the Old Main Theatre in November production

We look forward to the return of Mayville State actors and actresses to the stage of the Old Main Theatre this month when Mayville State University Theatre presents “Insane with Power” by Scott Haan. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, 19, and 20 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 21. All seats are $10 and tickets will be sold at the door.

The premiere of “Insane with Power” was initially scheduled for the spring of 2020. The play had already been cast when due to safety precautions related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was postponed to be re-scheduled for another time.

The play’s storyline is headlined with Lois Lancaster, a big city journalist who is writing about the current state of mental health facilities. Her research takes her to a hospital populated with a unique group of quirky patients who imagine they are crime-fighting superheroes.

Speed Freak thinks he can run at incredible speeds, while Dim Bulb, who is extremely enthusiastic, thinks he has the ability to turn off lights with his brain. Mental thinks she can read minds, despite being prone to sudden outbursts of bizarre non-sequiturs. Kevin, who is much less quirky and flamboyant than the others, doesn’t embarrass himself with a ridiculous code name or costume … at least not initially. Dr. Gail Eisner, the hospital administrator, appears to be kind, a stead influence needed to run a madhouse such as this.

A first Lois Lancaster finds the elaborate superhero fantasies to be an entertaining diversion, the wild delusions of unstable minds, until something unusual, something that makes her wonder, happens.

The theater department is inviting high school students who are interested in finding out more about the opportunities at Mayville State to attend meet and greet opportunities with the cast and crew prior to each of the performances. Refreshments will be provided. Meet and greets will begin at 6 p.m. on the days of evening performances. The Sunday meet and greet will begin at 12:30 p.m. To find out more, contact Bob Sylskar at

Two separate casts will be performing “Insane with Power.” The Madhouse cast will take the stage on Nov. 18 and 20. The Funny Farm cast will perform on Nov. 19 and 21.

The Madhouse cast includes Phillip Maritato as Speed Freak, Maisy Skalicky as Lois Lancaster, Katelyn Johnson as Dr. Gail Eisner, Riley Wass as Dim Bulb, Anyssa Berger as Mental, and Rebecca Sauvageau as Kevin Bendis.

Members of the Funny Farm cast are Paul Whitaker as Speed Freak, Veronica Miller as Lois Lancaster, Emily Roehrich as Dr. Gail Eisner, Natasha Abentroth as Dim Bulb, Payton Doerksen as Anyssa Berger, and Roy Morsette as Kevin Bendis.

We are delighted at Mayville State students have the opportunity to get involved in theatrical productions as members of the cast and/or crew, and we are grateful to MSU Theater Director Bob Sylskar for the time an effort he invests in making these valuable experiences for the student actors.

Coming up during the spring semester of 2022, there are plans for a night of one-act plays, as well as a children’s theater production. Watch for further announcements.

Looking a full year ahead, a Reader Theater production is planned in conjunction with the Mayville State Oral Interpretation of Literature class. In addition, Mayville State Theatre will present “The Christmas Truce” by Aaron Shepard. “The Christmas Truce” tells a true story of peace amidst World War I. Covering as much as 2/3 of the British-German front during the Battle of the Bulge, thousands of soldiers from opposing sides laid down their weapons in a sign of peace toward one another in honor of Christmas bravery, honesty, and the pursuit of human decency, showing that in the end, all are good people.

Thank you to Mayville State student Jamison Mozey and MSU Theater Director Bob Sylskar for sharing the details about MSU Theater Department plans for current and upcoming productions provided here. Please mark your calendars now and make plans to come out and support our students and their faculty mentors in these performances that will be entertaining as well as thought-provoking.