Applause, Applause

From Uncertainty to Fun: "The Con" Opens Friday at MQT

Marquette's Fall Play Encourages Fans to Channel Their Inner Superhero

When the curtain closed on the 2022-2023 academic year, an air of uncertainty surrounded Marquette Performing Arts director Amy Crane. By the time the curtain parts Friday inside the Rudy Hart Theatre, Crane will oversee a whirlwind of fun. Confident in the quality, but unsure of the quantity with which she would have to work with, the creative Crane is more than content with the outpouring of voices, hands, and minds at her disposal for this year’s fall play.

“I was very happy to see how many kids turned out for auditions. We have a huge group of underclassmen in a wide variety of roles within this production,” the veteran leader said.

“The Con”, a mystery handcuffed to the backdrop of a wildly-popular comic festival, runs this weekend on Marquette’s campus. The play will employ some clever hopscotch to circumvent copyright infringement, but rest assured, the audience will have only one mystery to solve. 

By design, “The Con” represents a pivot from more recent productions that veered toward the complex. The aim for this year’s production mirrors that of Crane’s overarching mantra for a new season.

“My whole idea for this year was ‘fun’. We’ve done a lot of heavier productions (1776, Newsies) coming out of COVID and I wanted to change it up this year. If this show is one thing, it’s ‘fun’,” Crane vowed.

The fun will extend into the audience this weekend as MQT Performing Arts will hold a costume contest during intermission of Friday and Saturday’s shows. Furthermore, Sunday’s matinee will feature a Princess Tea Party at 12:30 pm that will include punch and cookies as well as photo ops with Enchanted Tales princesses.

Several local businesses have collaborated with Crane to donate various set pieces, including “Heroes Haven Comics & Games”, “Enchanted Tales”, “Kirok’s Lab”, and “Bears and Buddies NWI.”

The running time for “The Con” is approximately 90 minutes with one intermission. 

Friday and Saturday’s performances will run at 7 pm with Sunday’s finale slated for 2 pm. Tickets, which are $10 for adults and $8 for students/seniors, will be available at the Rudy Hart Theatre.