NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – When she visits Bethel College, Amanda Petefish-Schrag will both teach and entertain in a variety of aspects of her genre, theater.
Petefish-Schrag will speak in convocation at 11 a.m. Friday, April 23. At 7:30 that evening, she will present her one-woman play Supergirls! Tales of Life, Love and Captain Nebraska. Her convocation program is entitled “Becoming a Supergirl: The Process of Developing a One-Woman Show.”
Petefish-Schrag has been performing professionally for most of her life. She grew up in Alexandria, Minn., and at a young age began appearing as a puppeteer in her family’s troupe, The Petefish Puppeteers. She attended the University of Minnesota-Morris, where she received her B.A in theater arts, and went on to earn her M.F.A from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
She is currently assistant professor of communication, theatre and languages at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. Before taking the position there, she taught theater at Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, S.D. (home of the Corn Palace).
In addition to teaching, Petefish-Schrag has worked professionally as a performer, director, designer and acting coach. She says that “professional wrestler actor coaching” has been among her more interesting assignments. She lives in Maryville with her husband Ben and her daughter.
About Supergirls! Tales of Life, Love and Captain Nebraska, Petefish-Schrag says, “It’s not easy being a supergirl – particularly in the middle of Nebraska. In this one-woman play, four characters share the trials of love and superbattles on the Midwestern plains.
“Through the stories of Ultragirl, the stalwart second-in-command; The Honeybee, the impetuous teenager; Harrier, the superhero-turned-villain; and Susan, Captain Nebraska’s wife, the play explores what superhero comics leave out – the awkward pragmatics, the glass ceilings, the female perspective on power and loss.”
But, Petefish-Schrag adds, the play “also deals with the things the comics get right – the burden of power; longing for love and companionship; the reality that nothing lasts forever.”
Both Supergirls! and Petefish-Schrag have a local connection: the play features the design work of Petefish-Schrag’s friend, nationally known illustrator and North Newton resident (and Bethel graduate) Jesse Graber.
Both the 11 a.m. convocation and the 7:30 performance in Krehbiel Auditorium April 23 are free and open to the public.
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges profiled in Colleges of Distinction 2009-10. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.