TWU Drama Premieres Romantic Comedy

A play written by a Trinity Western University alumna will debut Feb. 14 on the TWU stage, and the public is invited to attend. The Ristretto Proposal, a romantic comedy, is a commissioned work written by Kris Knutsen, a 1999 graduate of TWU's drama program.

While an apprentice at Vancouver's Pacific Theatre, Knutsen wrote and acted in Honestly! a short play which vaulted her into the playwriting world. Then last year, Knutsen starred in Pacific Theatre's critically acclaimed production of Last Train to Nibroc—directed by TWU drama professor Angela Konrad.

“During rehearsals for that play, Angela suggested that it would be great to have students work on an original show created just for them,” says Knutsen, “She asked me to write a play, and that set everything in motion. If it wasn't for her the show wouldn't exist.”

The Ristretto Proposal story centres on Jess and Ryan, who dated each other in university—with disastrous results. Still friends years later, Ryan dares Jess to announce their bogus engagement in the alumni magazine. Before long, the joke spins out of the control, and the relationship becomes more intriguing.

“I've written this piece from an honest place, and most of what's on stage is based on personal experience or observation,” says Knutsen, who now lives in Seattle. “I want people to have a great time, see themselves in the characters and have a good laugh.”

“I've learned a ton through this experience and I'm really grateful for the opportunity,” adds Knutsen, who's applying for graduate studies in playwriting and acting in the U.S.

Working on this play is also a coup for TWU students. “Anyone who has been to university knows how important dating and relationships are during those formative years,” says Konrad, who directs the production. “It's a treat for students to work on a play that's relevant, real and very funny.”

The play stars Holly Pillsbury as Jess, Tony Stopperan as Ryan, and features Alecia Braun, Joshua McFaul and John Voth.
The Ristretto Proposal opens Wed. Feb. 15, and continues through Saturday, Feb 18. Performances begin at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. A special half-priced preview will take place on Valentine's Day, Tues. Feb. 14.

The theatre is located in Freedom Hall of the Robert N. Thompson building on the campus of TWU (7600 Glover Road, Langley). Tickets ($6 to $10) are available at the door. For more information, or to reserve tickets, contact drama@twu.ca.

Event: The Ristretto Proposal by Kris Knutsen
Date: Tuesday to Saturday, February 14 to 18, 2006
Time: Evening performances: 8 p.m.
Saturday matinee: 2 p.m.
Location: Freedom Hall, Robert N. Thompson building
Trinity Western University (7600 Glover Road in Langley)
Cost: Tickets ($6 to $10) are available at the door.
Contact: drama@twu.ca

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,300 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 14 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum