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Fuller’s Play Cited at Great Plains Theatre Conference

SIOUX FALLS – Dr. Ivan Fuller’s play, “Eating into the Fabric,” received a Holland New Voices award at the Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC) held in Omaha, NE, May 23-30.

Five individuals were chosen as having the top-rated plays out of more than 400 submitted to the Conference. These emerging playwrights were awarded a sculptured piece created by local artist John Prouty in recognition of their work and each received a $200 honorarium in honor of their selection.

Dr. Fuller, associate professor of Theatre and Chair of the Performing and Visual Arts department at Augustana, submitted his latest work, “Eating into the Fabric.” The play was inspired by the true story of Leningrad under siege by the Nazis during World War II. For 900 days the city of Leningrad was virtually cut off from the rest of the world.

During one of the harshest winters on record, citizens in Leningrad struggled to survive without heat, running water, electricity and fresh food. Bombs dropped daily on the city, added to the terror. Despite these horrific conditions, theatre continued, as did many other forms of artistic expression and entertainment.

This play focuses on a theatre company struggling to continue rehearsals and performances under the impossible conditions of the siege. It tells the story of Tatiana Astrova (the company’s ingénue), her father (a botanist), her fiancé (serving in the army at the front lines) and the nine other members of the theatre company.

Dr. Fuller is in his 20th year at Augustana. He is the founder and artistic director of the Bare Bodkins Theatre Company, producing summer Shakespeare in Sioux Falls.

For the past six summers he has spent time in Russia, leading students on study abroad trips or simply being inspired for his various writing projects. In addition to his work as a director and theatre educator, Dr. Fuller is a playwright and is currently in the process of writing a new play about Soviet poet, Olga Berggolts. He has also written and had productions of a long one-act, Sensitive Scar Tissue.

Dr. JoAnn McDowell, president of Metropolitan Community College, organized the Great Plains Theatre Conference, which celebrated its fourth year.  The mission of the GPTC is to recognize the work of renowned American playwrights while fostering the work of new and emerging playwrights.