See What I Wanna See
By Michael John LaChiusa

Nov. 20-23 , 2008
Directed by Nikki Swoboda
Scenic and Sound Designer Ben Inniger
Lighting Designer Jake Yenish
Costume Designer Nicole Pullaro

Left: The Medium (Claire Wellin) connects with The Husband (Mathias Becker).
Right: Kesa (Liz Dowd) and Morita (Becker) in the throes of murder.

A CPA (Mathias Becker) shares his thoughts with A Priest (Jerry Jay Cranford).

Each person gets a miracle of their own making.

See What I Wanna See playwright/composer Michael John LaChiusa (senter in white) joined the cast for
a post-opening night celebration. They are (left to right) back row: Jared Oxborough, director Nikki Swoboda, LaChiusa,
Mathias Becker and assistant director Tristin Rupp; front row: Liz Dowd, Jerry Jay Cranford and Claire Wellin. His
visit was paid for through the Andreas Guest Artist endowment to the College of Arts and Humanities.

Play photographs by Mike Lagerquist


Director Nikki Swoboda talks about See What I Wanna See:

The play is very complex, but can you tell us about the three stories that make up See What I Wanna See? Listen

Tell us some more about the author/composer, Michael John LaChiusa. Listen

Talk about the people involved in this production. Listen

Why did you want to do the show and why should people come see it? Listen

See What I Wanna See is the first musical to be performed in the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre and Dance’s Studio Season since the Andreas Theatre opened in 2000. With book, music and lyrics by Tony nominee Michael John LaChiusa, it brings the new contemporary edge of musical theatre to southern Minnesota on Nov. 20-23 at 7:30 p.m.

See What I Wanna See is a non-linear musical telling of three different stories in three different worlds: Medieval Japan (the first story, Kesa & Morito), New York City in the 1950s (the second, R Shomon), and post-9/11 Central Park (the final story, Gloryday). It is based on the short stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, paying homage to its Japanese roots with its Asian-infused jazz musical style. Throughout the course of the action, one certainty prevails: people are now and always have been searching for universal truth…and end up creating their own version of it.

Michael John LaChiusa himself will be attending See What I Wanna See and teaching a master class to the students of the department as an Andreas Guest Artist. LaChiusa is one of the most prolific musical composers of the new millennium. Best known for his complex and musically challenging scores in the “post-modern” school of Broadway, he has been nominated for five Tony awards for the book and scores of Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Marie Christine and The Wild Party. His works also include Hello Again, Little Fish, The First Lady Suite, The Highest Yellow, Bernarda Alba and Giant, which will be premiering in 2009. He is an adjunct professor in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

Hosting LaChiusa is an incredible honor and opportunity for the students, made possible by the Lowell and David Andreas Endowment to the College of Arts and Humanities. It is the same fund that brought in professional guest actress Fiona Hui to play "Kim" in Miss Saigon.

See What I Wanna See features undergraduate students Jared Oxborough, Mathias Becker, Liz Dowd and Claire Wellin, as well as Jerry Jay Cranford, an MFA Directing candidate. The design team is composed of all MFA candidates: Ben Inniger (set and sound design), Nicole Pullaro (costume design), Jake Yenish (lighting design) and Megan Gredesky (props master).

We invite you all to join us in the Andreas Theatre Nov. 20-23 to witness this exciting collaboration of students, a new brand of musical theatre and a guest Broadway composer!

—By Nikki Swoboda, director
MFA Directing Candidate
2008-09 Nadine B. Andreas Teaching Assistant