UW-Eau Claire alumni play key roles in 'True North' storytelling extravaganza

| Julie Poquette

UW-Eau Claire alumni have been movers and shakers in the Chippewa Valley arts scene for decades. So it should come as no surprise that, true to form, Blugolds will make up at least half of the key players in a one-of-a-kind event set to happen next month at Pablo Center at the Confluence.

Nine Blugolds will participate as writer/storytellers or producers in “True North: Real Wisconsin stories unfolding live on stage,” a multimedia show that will feature locally based authors sharing their stories along with a cast of additional performers.

Two performances of the show, produced by Volume One, will be staged in Pablo Center’s Jamf Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17.

“We’re taking eight true local stories — personal narratives, magazine stories and pieces created just for this show — and bringing them to life via multimedia and original live music,” said Mike Paulus, a UW-Eau Claire alumnus himself, as well as a Volume One staffer and one of the show’s producers. “The stories will be read/performed by the writers themselves. And when we say ‘multimedia,’ we’re putting it mildly. We’ll be using archival film footage and photos to heighten the experience, but we’ve also worked with local artists to produce original mini-films, animations, dances, sketches and even a custom-made puppet.”

Following are the Blugold alums involved in “True North,” along with their UW-Eau Claire graduation years and degrees.

The show is directed by Jake Lindgren ’15,  theatre arts. Producers are Nick Meyer ’17, recipient of the university’s Honorary Alumni Award; Mike Paulus ’99, English; and Eric Christenson ’12, journalism. Sean Carey ’08, music, is the show’s musical director and will write and perform live the soundtrack for each story.

Blugolds who will participate as writer/storytellers are Steve Betchkal ’96, biology; Jodie Arnold ‘02, English (and also a current UW-Eau Claire English graduate student); Josh Ingersoll ’10, English education; and Yia Lor ’11, social work. 

Learn more about “True North: Real Wisconsin stories unfolding live on stage,” and purchase tickets on Pablo Center’s website.

Top photo caption: Jodie Arnold, a UW-Eau Claire English alum and current English graduate student, is among the Blugold alumni performing in "True North: Real Wisconsin stories unfolding live on stage,” to be staged in Pablo Center’s Jamf Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17.