CWU News

CWU to Present Pioneering Campus Theatrical Experience

In a groundbreaking campus production, Central Washington University’s Central Theatre Ensemble (CTE) will present “The Tell-Tale Gaze” October 29-31 and November 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. The performances will take place inside McConnell Hall; the difference pertains to those who attend.

“This is the first time that the Theatre Department has done a production where we’ve had the audience on the outside,” said Kathryn Stahl, CWU theatre professor, and the production’s director.
During the devised theater performance, small, physically distanced groups will walk around the exterior of McConnell Hall and view “paintings” of Edgar Allen Poe’s texts as they come to life through live scenes performed by CWU theater students within the building’s confines.

A scene from "The Tell-Tale Gaze."“Devised theater is where we have no script and we build the content ourselves,” Stahl explained. “We wanted to use something that was in the public domain. And, because Halloween is on a Saturday,  Edgar Allen Poe, with the Gothic romanticism, seemed like a great work. And it was something we could work with and adapt to our needs.”

For “The Tell-Tale Gaze,” the theatre department’s space has been transformed, using doorways, offices, and windows as the picture frames for the presentation.  

“We have had to do a lot of interior manipulation of the spaces to get them to be what we want,” Stahl acknowledged. “But we have a fantastic crew who has gone above and beyond everything we could want to get the spaces to be fitting for the stories that we want to tell.”

Even with the wholesale logistical changes for the production, high-tech elements will still be featured.

“There are also small, immersive elements in there, which are possible through the utilization of the new technologies that have been presented to us during COVID, which we’re excited to utilize,” Stahl added. “This is really a big first for the Theatre Department.”

Tickets must be purchased online in advance. They are $5 for CWU students and $12 general admission. Face coverings will be required for those in the audience. In addition, an online presentation is being developed for theater patrons who prefer to watch it from home. Those tickets will cost $5.