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Simon comedy showing on Highland stage

Neil Simon's "I Ought to be in Pictures" opens June 25 as third production in Highland Summer Theater season at MSU Mankato.


One of Neil Simon’s lesser-known comedies, "I Ought To Be in Pictures," is now on stage as the third production in the 47th annual Highland Summer Theatre season at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Performances are 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, June 29.

Herb, a Hollywood scriptwriter currently “at liberty,” is surprised when his forgotten past reappears in the form of Libby, a teenage daughter who's trekked from Brooklyn with dreams of movie stardom. With Steffy, his sometime paramour at his side, Herb decides to take another stab at fatherhood and hopefully this time, get it right.

"I Ought to Be In Pictures" marks the final directorial appearance of Paul Finocchiaro, who joined the Department of Theatre & Dance in 2004 and has directed — and choreographed — dozens of productions since. It features current students Amanda Forman and Cassandra Johnson in the female roles and 2012 BFA Acting graduate Dustin Guy Jackson as Herb (see full bios below).

This show was made into a 1982 film starring Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret and Dinah Manoff. Minnesota State Mankato presented "I Ought To Be in Pictures" in 1982. It is sponsored by the Minnesota State Mankato TRIO Programs.

For tickets, contact the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 507-389-6661. 


Amanda Forman is a senior BFA Acting candidate from Tiffin, Iowa, who made her Minnesota State Mankato debut as “Evelyn” in the Studio production "The Shape of Things" and made her summer debut as “Ursula/Baroness Elberfeld” in "The Sound of Music" (HST 2012). Last season she was “Mrs. Dixon Durant” in "Cactus Flower" on the Mainstage and “Mary Mallon” in "A Plague of Angels" in the Studio.

Dustin Guy Jackson, a native of Sioux Falls who graduated last summer with a BFA in Acting, was seen in the Mainstage as “Joseph Buquet” in "The Phantom of the Opera," the title character in "Dracula," in "Twelve Angry Men," "On the Razzle" and as “Laertes” in "The Odyssey," for which he earned a KCACTF Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nomination. He also earned Region V Semifinalist honors. He was also “Hamm” in the Studio production "Endgame" and made his HST debut in 2011 as “Drake” in "Annie" before returning in 2012 in "Love, Sex, and the I.R.S.," "God of Carnage" and as “Capt. Von Trapp” in "The Sound of Music."

Cassandra Johnson is a junior BFA Musical Theatre candidate from Benson who made her Minnesota State Mankato academic year debut as “Diana Morales” in last season’s opener, "A Chorus Line," and then was “Serena” in "Legally Blonde." In addition, she was “Marcy FitzWilliams” in the Studio production "I Love You Because." She appeared as a nun in the HST 2012 production of "The Sound of Music" and was in the 2012 children’s theatre touring production of "Buzz." At the KCACTF Region V Festival in January, Cassie partnered two of the three Ryan Finalists from Mankato.

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