SMSU Briefs for Oct. 10

Memorial service for Radzilowski is Oct. 14

A memorial service for the late SMSU history professor Thaddeus “Ted” Radzilowski will be from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Campus Religious Center at Southwest Minnesota State University.

His friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus of History Joe Amato, said it is hoped that Ted’s three sons — John, Paul and Stefan — will attend, along with former colleagues, students and friends from the university and the region.

Ted died Friday, July 20, 2018, after battling health issues. He was 80. He was employed at SMSU from 1970 to 1999.

During his time at SMSU, he was a historian, writer and mentor to innumerable students; a pioneer of Rural and Regional Studies and the university’s faculty union; and a founder of Food and Heritage of the Prairie.

Light refreshments will be served, and attendees may gather and talk after the memorial in the Fireside Room.

Prior to coming to SMSU, he taught at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Madonna University and Heidelberg College.

After leaving SMSU, Radzilowski launched the Piast Institute, which became what is considered the largest Polish-American think tank in the United States. Under his leadership, the institute became the only U.S. Census Bureau Information Center in Michigan and an immigrant assistance site for the Department of Homeland Security.

SMSU Theater season opens with ‘Young Frankenstein’

The SMSU Theater program’s first production for the 2018-19 school year will be the musical comedy “Young Frankenstein,” book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Mel Brooks. Performances are Oct. 24-27 and Nov. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre on campus.

“Young Frankenstein” is based on Mel Brooks’ film produced in 1974. Serious medical doctor Frederick Frankenstein tries to distance himself from his infamous grandfather and namesake monster, but after Frederick inherits the family estate in Transylvania, the lure of the mad scientist’s laboratory is too strong to resist. With the help of the hunchbacked Igor and yodeling lab assistant Inga, Frederick creates a monster of his own.

Dinner theater is available Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. Reservations for dinner theater are due the Monday prior to the performance you plan on attending. Dinner theater is $32 a person, which includes dinner and the show. The dinner features a menu created and prepared by the SMSU Student Hospitality Opportunities Club. Dinner theater seating will be from 5:45-6:15 p.m. in the Individualized Learning building 116, the Culinology/Hospitality Restaurant.

Show tickets are $10 and are available at and at the door for regular admission.

SMSU students will be able to attend the Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Thursday, Nov. 1 performances for free with a valid student ID.

Free parking for the event will be available in lot B-1.

“Young Frankenstein” is directed by Theatre Professor and SMSU theater arts alumnus Mike Lenz of Cottonwood, who is also the scenic, lighting, and sound designer and technical director. Theatre Professor Sheila Tabaka of Marshall is the costume designer. Krishana Dempcy, K-12 vocal music instructor for Lakeview Public Schools, from Granite Falls, is the music director. Katy Haltvick, Marshall Middle School music and choir teacher, of Marshall, is the choreographer. Theatre Professor Nadine Purvis Schmidt of Estelline, S.D., is the producer. Cat (Caitlin) Schmidt, a junior theater arts major from Gaylord, is the stage manager. Sally Tabaka, a Marshall High School senior, is the assistant stage manager.

The cast includes: Kristen Barnhardt, a senior disability advocacy in new media major from Sioux Falls, S.D., as a member of the Ensemble; Brady Berg, freshman education major, acting and directing minor from Wells, as Victor Frankenstein and the Hermit; Jennifer Homan, a senior theater arts major from Marshall, as a member of the Ensemble; Jocelyn Klein, a freshman theater arts major from Tyler, as a member of the Ensemble; Allie Lamote, a freshman theater arts and communications studies double major from Marshall, as Inga; Kayla Lindberg, a sales representative for the Marshall Independent from Marshall, as a member of the Ensemble; Keelin Louwagie, a freshman psychology major from Cottonwood, as a member of the Ensemble; Danny McDonnell, a senior theater arts major from Jordan, as Igor; Avianna McFarquhar, a sophomore business administration and theater arts double major, creative writing minor from Marshall, as Elizabeth Benning; Paul Ragan, a junior history and secondary education double major, theater arts and acting and directing double minor from Fosston, as The Monster; Raxson Rax, a junior theater arts major from Milan, as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein; Lauren Roiger, a freshman agriculture education major from Winthrop, as a member of the Ensemble; Jordan Stangeland, a senior psychology and theater arts double major from Marshall, as Ziggy; Michael VanKeulen, foundation director at Minnesota West Community and Technical College from Ghent, as Inspector Kemp; Elizabeth Zoya, a sophomore theater arts major from Maplewood, as Frau Blücher.

“Young Frankenstein” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

‘An Evening with Cassie Williams and Oak Kelsey’ poetry reading Oct. 23

Southwest Minnesota State University will host “An Evening with Cassie Williams and Oak Kelsey,” a poetry reading with musical accompaniment, from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Whipple Gallery, located in the SMSU McFarland Library (BA 291).

The event is part of the Visiting Writers Series.

Williams earned her undergraduate degree in creative writing and a master’s in education (English emphasis) from SMSU. She has published her work in a variety of literary journals. As a wife and the mother of four children, Williams is currently sharing her journey on Instagram as a mother and writer under the name Poetess Unbound. Williams is the SMSU academic specialist for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Access, Opportunity and Success as well as the co-instructor for a human relations course.

Kelsey grew up in Lamberton and graduated from SMSU in 1995 with B.A. in theater arts. His passion for art has encompassed multiple mediums, such as self-produced zines, digital and film photography, visual art, songwriting, sampling, playing multiple instruments and collaborating with artists. He lives in Marshall and enjoys biking in his free time. He thanks his wife, Michele Knife Sterner, and their two children for inspiration, positive energy and support.

The event is free and open to the public.