SCC grad takes professional stageShe directed "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with another student her senior year at St. Croix Central High School. Now Stephanie (Zwald) Wipf is taking the stage as a professional actress.
By: Gretta Stark, New Richmond News
When she was a senior at St. Croix Central High School, Stephanie Wipf (then Zwald) and another student selected, directed and organized the costuming for the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as a sort of final senior project.
Now, Wipf, who graduated from SCC in 2004, has gone from high school drama to professional acting. She is playing the part of Aouda, an Indian princess, in the Open Window Theatre’s production of “Around the World in 80 Days.” This is Wipf’s first show at the Open Window Theatre.
“I’ve had a really great time with the director and stage managers,” Wipf said.
Wipf said she starred in a lot of plays in high school and continued her involvement in drama while she was attending Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn., where she majored in psychology. Wipf now works for Northwestern, but has continued doing theater on the side.
“Acting, for me, is a way to get into someone’s mind and say, ‘why are you doing this? What was that action about?’” Wipf said, “just trying to figure out a person’s mind and why they do what they do.”
“And I’ve always liked to sing and dance,” Wipf added, “and growing up I always wanted to be the center of attention, so it’s a good outlet for that too, I suppose.”
Wipf’s character, Aouda, is the wife of a raja who has recently died. Aouda is about to be sacrificed against her will to burn on the funeral pyre with her husband, when Phileas Fogg, the main character, finds and rescues her.
Aouda, Wipf said, tends to be a quiet character, but will surprise the other characters with heir feistiness at points.
“I think my favorite part would have to be those little moments that she does kind of let herself go,” Wipf said. “When she was a princess and was married to the raja, I imagine that she couldn’t really be herself and now that she’s kind of free…”
“Around the World in 80 Days” is a comedic play based a Jules Verne novel. In the play adventurer Phileas Fogg attempts to circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days pursued by a confused detective who believes Fogg is a runaway convict. Fogg is also aided by his manservant Passepartout, and he picks up Aouda, Wipf’s character in India.
The Open Window Theatre is a 100-seat black box theater in Minneapolis. It is a non-union professional theater.
“Around the World in 80 Days” is showing Sept. 28 – Oct. 18. Show times are 7:45 every Thursday – Saturday. Matinees at 2 p.m. on Sundays and on Saturday, Sept. 29, and Oct. 13. Tickets are $12 to $26. For information or tickets visit openwindowtheatre.org.