QC theaters engages locals and Augie community

Katherine Hogan

The QC currently has a booming art and theater community—which can come as a surprise to many people.  For theater alone, the Quad Cities has around eight different theaters outside of Augustana.  This gives students a unique opportunity to participate in many different types of theater productions beyond the Augie bubble.

Senior Daniel Williams has been participating in theater since a young age.  As someone from the QC community, Williams’ first experiences with theater took place at the Quad Cities Music Guild in Moline when he was 8 years old. Since then, Williams has done around 25 shows, most of which have been through local theaters.

Williams is currently participating in the Music Guild production of Jesus Christ Super Star which will be his 17th show at the Guild. “I didn’t audition for Jesus Christ Superstar—but since I have Music Guild connections, they needed a couple more male dancers and so they reached out to me asking if I would be interested and I was but didn’t think I would be able to do it because I was already in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying here at Augie.  Then I talked to Professor Shelly Cooper and she said ‘you can do both, why not?’” Williams said.Williams adds that most rehearsals fall at night so they don’t interfere with classes and that it is a time commitment, but very feasible for a student to do.

“We are starting to see more [Augie students] now—there are a ton of theaters in the area, like a ridiculous amount, probably like eight or nine, and as they pop up more people get involved.  At Music Guild, there is a really strong Augie community, especially for the summer shows. Every Music Guild show I have been in there have probably been around four or five people with Augustana connections,” Williams said.

Williams isn’t the only person in the Augie community that participates in the vast amount of QC theaters.

Dr. Mischa Hooker, a professor from the classics department, participates in The Genesius Guild, which puts on free Shakespearean and Greek plays in Lincoln Park.  Currently, he is part of the artistic committee which decides on programming and directors for all of the plays but he also participates as an actor as well.

Hooker said that the Genesius Guild probably has two or three people with Augustana connections participating any given year.“It’s not a huge number—for students, especially since most Augustana students, are not in the area during the summer—but there are some. We are always looking for students to be involved in different ways,” Hooker said.

Hooker states that it is a great opportunity for students from the QC or staying for the summer. “There are great opportunities purely on campus, but you get an experience of real life once you start branching out and connecting with people that live here and you see where people have taken their interest in theater without necessarily making a profession out of it,” Hooker said.