Redefining the Classroom

Black Box Theatre presents work of Poet Laureate

Posted: November 1st, 2006

READY FOR PRIMETIME – Lake Superior State’s Black Box Ensemble is, back row, left to right: Chris Pollard, Aimee Walker, Charles Rose; center row, left to right: Justin Wright, Alani Weathers, Liz Sippl, and Stacy Charbonneau; front row, left to right: Michael Donovan, Jared Little, Steve Uger, and Kyle Stockdale. (Photo by John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with this story can be found by clicking here.

To view a slide show of some dress rehearsal stills, click here.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University’s Black Box Ensemble is bringing the work of former Utah Poet Laureate David Lee to the Arts Center stage for several performances in November.

“Incident at Thompson Slough and Other Stories,” directed and adapted for the stage by LSSU English and Communications Prof. Gary L. Balfantz, will be presented at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3-4 and 10-11, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the Arts Center’s Black Box Theatre. General admission is $10 and $5 for students. Tickets will be available at the door.

“’Incident at Thompson Slough and Other Stories’ is the third production by the newly formed Black Box Ensemble,” said Balfantz. “The production takes the name from a narrative poem by David Lee, the first poet laureate of Utah. In minimalist style, the production features a set of stories and monologues about small town life in 1950s west Texas. They are funny stories that tug at the heart, some more serious than others.”

Lee has been published widely. He has been honored with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has received both the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award in Poetry and the Western States Book Award in Poetry. He earned a Ph.D. with a specialty in the poetry of John Milton, and recently retired as chairman of the Department of Language and Literature at Southern Utah University.

Lee visited LSSU in April 2004, when he read some of his work for an audience in the Cisler Center Crow’s Nest.

The Lake Superior State cast will personally meet with Lee when it takes its production to the 92nd-Annual National Communication Association Conference, to be held Nov. 17 in San Antonio, Texas. Lee plans to attend a special performance.

For more information on the Black Box Theatre production, contact Balfantz at 906-635-2278 or The performance of "Incident at Thompson Slough and Other Stories" is sponsored by LSSU's Dept. of English and Communication, Dept. of History, Humanities and the Arts and the College of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences.

To view a slide show of some dress rehearsal stills, click here.