February 12, 2016 at 3:30pm

A special production of the Tony Award-winning show "Red" was held at Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre, Millikin University's student-run theatre, from Feb. 12-14. For the first time in over a decade, a Millikin professor and student took the stage together as part of the formal production.

The show featured Alex Miller, Millikin associate professor of theatre, as artist Mark Rothko, and Ryan Hickey, a senior theatre major from Galesburg, Ill., as Rothko's assistant Ken. "Red" is a searing portrait of an artist's ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting. The production takes a compelling look at the ever-changing relationship between an artist and his creations.  

Ryan Hickey has spent the past year collaborating with Millikin Professors Alex Miller, Lyle Salmi and Mirela Tanta to create the work. Miller and Hickey were directed by senior Joseph Bezenek, a theatre major from Sioux Falls, S.D., who incorporated the project as part of his work as a James Millikin Scholar.

In addition, the production was a fundraiser for Alex Miller's Shakespeare Corrected program in which women at the Decatur Correctional Center stage Shakespeare plays. Professor Miller started the program five years ago.

Inspired by the Shakespeare Behind Bars program that started in Kentucky, Professor Miller brought Shakespeare Corrected to the Decatur Correctional Center to help make a positive difference in the lives of the inmates. Shakespeare Corrected places undergraduates and offenders together in a nine month collaborative process resulting in a fully mounted Shakespeare production.

The production of "Red" attracted volunteers from across the Millikin campus. Sophomore Andie Burns served as stage manager, and other students helped in various ways. Multiple other Millikin faculty members pledged assistance in their areas of expertise, from hanging large paintings to supervising lighting to helping choreograph the actors' movement.

Click here to read more about the production in an article from the Herald & Review.

Photo courtesy of the Herald & Review