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No Name

A play written for Carthage by renowned playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher enjoyed its world premiere run in Carthage’s Wartburg Auditorium. No Name opened March 7 and continued through March 15. 2014.

Jeffrey Hatcher was the 2013-2014 Guest Artist in Carthage’s New Play Initiative. His award-winning plays have been performed on Broadway and around the world. He is best known for his plays Ten Chimneys, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He wrote the screenplays for the 2008 film The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes; the 2005 film Casanova, starring Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, and Jeremy Irons; and the 2004 film Stage Beauty, an adaptation of his play Compleat Female Stage Beauty, starring Claire Danes and Rupert Everett.

No Name tells the story of a sheltered, well-to-do young Englishwoman and her sister, who are thrown into poverty overnight by a distant relative who lays claim to their inheritance. Desperate to protect her family, the daring young Magdalen (played by Jane Burkitt ’14) bands together with a shifty con man (played by Andrew Stachurski ’14). Together they hatch an outrageous plot to reclaim her wealth.

“It’s a Victorian thriller, and in the spirit of a thriller, there’s both high drama and comedy,” says director Herschel Kruger, associate professor of theatre at Carthage and chair of the Fine Arts Division.

Mr. Hatcher adapted No Name from a 19th century novel of the same title by Wilkie Collins. “When Wilkie Collins wrote No Name, it was what they called a sensation drama,” Prof. Kruger says. “It was serialized, so a new chapter would come out every couple of weeks, much like a television show on HBO or Netflix today. Chapters would have these cliffhanger endings, and it created a lot of buzz. It was quite scandalous at the time.”

Says Andrew Stachurski, who plays Captain Wragge: “It’s a very funny, witty show that will take you on an emotional roller coaster. It’s a show that really explores the idea that when times are tough, that’s when you truly find out who you are.”

Jeffrey Hatcher wrote No Name as the 2013-14 guest artist in Carthage's New Play Initiative.Jeffrey Hatcher wrote No Name as the 2013-14 guest artist in Carthage's New Play Initiative.Magdalen, Jane Burkitt’s character, has the biggest personal journey. “In the beginning of the play, she is pretty spoiled,” Jane says. “Then both of her parents are killed in a train accident and her inheritance is taken away. There’s a lot of intrigue as she goes on a journey to get her inheritance back. Along the way, she loses sight of who she is until she doesn’t recognize herself anymore.”

She says audience members will love her character’s arc, get caught up by the play’s suspense, and enjoy a few laughs. “There are really funny moments,” she says. “As Magdalen, I don’t get many of them, but Captain Wragge is hilarious, and Mrs. Wragge is on a whole new level of funny.”

Even though No Name is not a musical, the Carthage production does use live music to tell the story. Three student musicians — John Kryl, Henry Kruger, and Macee Mueller — performed in the production. “We are using music to set the mood and help drive the action,” Prof. Kruger said. “Music can do wonderful things. It can help lift emotional moments. It can build tension. It can break tension.”

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

In the summer of 2014, the cast of No Name took a 90-minute version of the play to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the biggest fringe festival in the world. “The point of a fringe festival is to bring whatever you can, and show it to a bunch of people who love theatre, and get constructive criticism,” Jane says. “It’s a great experience.”

Going to Scotland is all about opportunity for all students in the theatre department and is a chance for students to work on their skills away from the stage.

“Going to the Fringe isn’t just about performing or the performers,” Prof. Kruger said. “It takes a wide variety of theatre students to make this work. Students worked on lighting and sound design, as well as assistant costume designers, properties, and several students were part of a marketing and promotion team.”

This was the first of many trips to Scotland. The department hopes to make this an opportunity that comes along every three to four years in hopes that all students in the program will get to experience it at least once.


  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

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    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

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    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

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    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

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    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

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    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

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    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …