McKenzy Cich is directing a production of “The Runner Stumbles” which will premiere in December 2021.

Photo provided by Jess Waldbillig

Since high school, McKenzy Cich knew she wanted to study theatre. She is about to begin rehearsals for her digital theatre & filmmaking and English major senior capstone production of “The Runner Stumbles.” This production is a drama dealing with life, religion, and the limitations that come with them. It is also loosely based on a 1911 Michigan murder case.

“There’s lots of characters, so I’m excited to work with a bunch of people, and there are a couple deep and interesting characters that I’m excited to develop with the actors,” said Cich. Cich noted it’s essential to have a strong image and direction for where you want the story to go when researching for a script. Since the play is based in Michigan, it has a familiar midwest feel that she enjoys (and thinks the audience will too).

This production is not Cich’s directorial debut. Cich admitted that she is nervous about the technical aspects of the production since she is primarily an actor. Still, she optimistically described it as “an exciting challenge.” Cich is eager to get the show on the road and be an acting coach. UWS Theatre Professor Cathy Fank recognized and nurtured her potential and love for theatre. Cich said that developing talent and the potential in others will be a highlight for her.

Of course, it would be impossible to write a story on an in-person theatre production in 2021 without discussing the present and potential impacts of Covid-19. The actors will have to wear masks during rehearsal (unless they are on stage and reading lines). There is also a possibility of someone getting sick and having to miss rehearsal. However, Cich is mostly “giddy and excited.” This play will be UWS’s first in-person production in almost two years.

“No empty houses! Please come,” said Cich. “The Runner Stumbles” is an all-student production, showing for two nights in early December. The Promethean will publish future show-time details.