University Alumni Take Center Stage


Nikolas Demers

kClare McKellaston’s costume renderings and clothes hanging on a rack.

Katie Harrigan

Ashland University’s Department of Theater will present “An Enemy of The People” by Arthur Miller as their first show in the 2019-2020 season. The production will feature two Ashland University Alumni as guest designers.

kClare McKellaston, a 2004 theatre and integrated language arts education graduate, returned to Ashland this fall to work as the show’s costume designer.

McKellaston, who currently lives in Chicago, said she would help in the costume shop as a student and it’s an honor to come back and work at the university in a larger capacity with “An Enemy of The People”

“An Enemy of The People” follows the story of a man who unveils a secret regarding the town water source. He is then faced with the choice to reveal the secret and be ridiculed by the townspeople, or keep it hidden.

“We knew we wanted it (the costumes) to be conceptual and somewhat abstract because it’s a heavy laden theme” McKellaston said. She added that the show will not be set in its original 1950’s time period which allows for the costumes to have a more modern take.

“We wanted it, in some way, to be anonymous so you can’t really tell what time period it is although it definitely reads more contemporary,” McKellaston said.

McKellaston is designing clothes for 12 characters total and her work is a visual aspect of the play that audience members can interpret.

McKellaston said physically seeing the costumes come to life, being near the clothes and witnessing what is growing out of them is a part of the design process she really enjoys.

“It’s always my goal to create a closet for each person so we have options…we want to make it look as realistic as possible for that person,” McKellaston said.

Seth Morrison, a 2018 alumni of the theatre department will be joining the production crew as the lighting designer.

Nikolas Demers
Seth Morrison’s lighting design.

Morrison said he has previously been involved in Ashland University shows as a technical director and jumped at the opportunity to work as lighting designer after being asked by the head of the department.

Morrison has been working on this project for several months and was already planning for the production in the summer.

Morrison said he enjoys the drafting process, which includes creating 3D models to determine where the lights will hit on each corner of the set. He then assigns an overarching mood to each scene depending on the tone.

“Seeing the actors under light for the first time, especially when everything is in a really solid place, is always enjoyable and makes it all feel more real,” Morrison said.

Morrison said he bases his lighting choices primarily off of actor intentions in order to draw the audience’s attention to the action.

“Lighting narrows the depth and focus to the stage and actor,” Morrison said. He added that light is an enhancing feature that contributes to the story’s flow.

“I’m excited about this show because it is incredibly relevant and we’re not hiding that”

To purchase tickets for “An Enemy of The People,” visit the Ashland University box office or call (419)-289-5125.