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Behind the Curtain

Q&A with NIC’s new director of theatre, Erick Wolfe By Gerry McCray, North Idaho College

NIC’s new director of theatre

North Idaho College director of theatre, Erick Wolfe, made his way to Coeur d’Alene last summer after the former director of theatre, Joe Jacoby, was promoted to NIC’s division chair of communications and fine arts. 

With one semester at NIC under his belt, the former head of theatre at Missouri Southern State University sat down to discuss his next production, “I Hate Hamlet,” his goals for the performance and more. 

Performance dates for “I Hate Hamlet” are scheduled for April 13 through 15 and April 20 through 22 at Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center on NIC’s main campus in Coeur d’Alene. The performances are free and open to the public. 

Responses have been edited for clarity and length. 

Q. You’ve finished your first production at NIC with “The 39 Steps.” How did that go?

A. I think it went great. We had great audience participation and reaction. Good crowd sizes that grew every performance. I hope we can start there and just keep growing. 

Q. What were some of your goals for that production?

A. Just to get it up on its feet. It was my first year here directing with students and a production team who didn’t know me, so I think our goals were just to have fun with it, which we did.  

Q. What is the Theatre Department’s upcoming production about?

A. “I Hate Hamlet” is a comedy about an actor that hates Shakespeare. He’s a soap opera star who moves to New York to do a production of “Hamlet,” mostly for his girlfriend and to be taken seriously as an actor.  

During a séance, they bring out the ghost of John Barrymore, a Broadway actor who was famous for his role as Hamlet but also his drinking and womanizing, which he continues to do, but mostly he tries to mentor our main character to be a good actor. 

Q. How do you pick a production, and what is the reasoning behind it? 

A. A lot can go into that decision-making. You should always pick something that challenges the students, so they are pushed to the next level. 

With the last production “The 39 Steps,” they hadn’t done much slapstick fast-paced comedy, so we picked that to try to push them. “I Hate Hamlet” deals with comedic elements while bringing it back to a more serious level. 

For more information, visit NIC.edu/theatre or contact NIC Director of Theatre Erick Wolfe at erick.wolfe@nic.edu or 208.769.3220. 


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