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USU Fusion Theatre Project Performs Original Work

Monday, Apr. 08, 2013


Denise Albiston

Caine College of the Arts

Utah State University

Phone: (435) 797-1500



LOGAN - Utah State University’s Fusion Theatre Project, part of the Department of Theatre Arts, is performing the original work “Woodpecker King of Tacony” April 16-20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center.

“The Fusion Theatre Project gives students the opportunity to participate in leadership roles, to have a strong voice in the development of the story line, characters and more,” said Shawn Fisher, associate professor in the Caine College of the Arts and founding director of the Fusion Theatre Project. “The amazing thing about this is that the students always seem to discover a side of themselves that’s new and unexpected.”

The show is a drama that follows the character of Benji after he returns home to the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia. Bearing both physical and emotional wounds, he struggles with the everyday responsibilities of life. After the suicide of his father, he moves in with his childhood friend Sam, an openly gay man and school teacher. Benji lives a reckless existence full of alcohol, pills and fighting as he attempts to prove his masculinity, and he passes his time plotting to kill a woodpecker. Ultimately, Sam fears for Benji’s self-destructive ways and must choose how best to handle his lifelong friend who continues to unravel.  

The Fusion Theatre Project was founded in 2005, and focuses on creating original work through the intense group process of development. Students audition for the project a year before their performance, and working with Fisher, research a topic of current social relevance, write a script, develop the characters and perform the piece.

“This project simply tries to tell good stories about characters that we can all relate to,” said Fisher. “The stories we tell tend to hit home and, with this particular production, just about everyone who goes to the show is going to know people who in one way or another have a direct connection to the themes. It makes it more personal and relevant, and is a better overall experience.” 

“The Woodpecker King of Tacony” is rated mature for strong language, mature themes and is recommended for persons age 17 and older. Tickets are $13 adults, $10 seniors and youth, $8 USU faculty and staff, free for USU students with ID. For more information and tickets, visit the Caine College of the Arts Box Office in room 139-B of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s campus, call 435-797-8022 or see the college’s Production Services website (


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