• Alyson Heisler

Davidson returns to the stage

Conrad Davidson is a Minot State University professor, an actor, a director, and a playwright.

Davidson has been involved with theatre for more than 50 years — after a start in college when acting drew him in.

“It’s always a risk being an actor and putting yourself out there, but it’s worth it in the end,” Davidson said.

In his sophomore year of college at Dickinson State, he found himself thinking, “What should I do?” and one day in class he found it right in front of him.

“I saw my professors having fun doing their jobs, and I thought it looked like a good life,” Davidson said.

In 1986, Davidson began his career at Minot State, and, in the years since, he’s held several positions at the university including professor, chair of humanities, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences — a position he held for ten years until this spring. Currently, he is back in the position of professor — but the shift hasn’t been difficult as Davidson continued to be involved with all parts of comm. arts during his time as dean.

Besides teaching, he has also published several shows and produced many shows, including “Adam v. Eve: A Marital Combat Play” and “Don’t Believe Everything Your Séances Tell You.” His passion as a playwright is strictly comedy involving fun, exaggerated humor.

“I’ve never had any connection to serious plays — I tried to write one in college, and it was just awful,” Davidson said.

His upcoming production, “Dinner Theatre,” is a set of short, humorous sketches, ranging from a few minutes to 11 minutes, that center around the theme of food and the conflicts that can arise from meals.

“Anybody who sees this show will be able to make a connection, whether it be an excruciatingly bad server, a first date, struggles with etiquette, or the common conflict — a holiday meal with family,” Davidson said. “We, as a society, use eating for everything — from social situations to romance.”

Davidson originally wrote the show in 2005 as part of a project with the North Dakota Council of the Arts and, shortly after, the Mouse River Players produced the play in Minot.

The cast for the upcoming production includes MSU students Kayle Borner, Haron Eymard, Dan Fagan, Eric Fetske, Jaryn Homiston, Jenna Kilene, Annika Kraft, Marissa Moran, Hannah Nantt, Dilyn Plemel, Zachary Schuller, and Floria Whyte.

Several of the cast members are from outside the comm. arts department, which allows for a new experience and leads to moments of comic engagement between the cast members.

“When there is a good comedic ensemble in the cast, I know that the audience will only amplify the comedic moments during the performance,” Davidson said.

“Dinner Theatre” runs Nov. 2-5 in Aleshire Theater, Hartnett Hall. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $5 for children 17 and under. MSU students, faculty and staff are admitted free with current MSU ID. For reservations, call the box office at 701-858-3172.

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