‘Hunchback’ Offers Timeless Tale Against Timely Headlines

Production at Minnesota State Mankato Enters Final Weekend

SOUNDBITE: Theatre Director Paul Hustoles on the timeliness and social significance of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s musical stage adaptation of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
Quasimodo (Billy Gleason) is delighted to be “On Top of the World,” in the bell tower of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, with his new friend, Esmeralda (Delanie Wiedrich). Minnesota State Mankato’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame follows the Disney animation storyline and features music written by composers of such blockbusters as Wicked and Beauty and the Beast.

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by LENNY KOUPAL, CSU Communications Coordinator

The bells of Notre Dame will ring this weekend as cast and director of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at Minnesota State University, Mankato enter final performances reflecting on this week’s devastating fire of the iconic 850-year-old cathedral.

For Paul Hustoles, director of Minnesota State Mankato’s Theatre’s latest musical, said production plans started over a year ago for this adaptation based on the Disney animation of Victor Hugo’s 1831 classic,. This week’s Notre Dame Cathedral fire proved to be an eerie twist of fate.

“This is just a really strange coincidence that it would happen while we are doing the show,” Hustoles said.

‘The reason I like the show so much is because there are gypsies coming to Paris. The so-called church-going people want to get rid of all foreigners and they build walls…I think it’s incredibly timely for political reasons but then coincidentally timely because of what happened.’

Paul Hustoles, Director of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Final weekend performances of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. All performances are in the renovated Ted Paul Theatre in the University’s Earley Center for the Performing Arts.

Remaining tickets for this weekend may be purchased through the theatre box office open weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets by phone can be purchased at that time by calling 507-389-6661.

Hustoles said the cast hasn’t met since the fire, but he spoke with key cast members after watching shocking scenes from Monday’s fire. He added that one of the show’s special effects may have heightened emotional impact for cast and audience.

“One of the big things that happen in this show – it’s rather spectacular – the bells fly in. It will be very interesting to see what the audience does when that happens,” Hustoles said.

He added that the bells and the rose window featured in the performance were among those notable cathedral features spared by firefighting efforts.

The director said other aspects of Hunchback’s storyline are as timely as today’s headlines.

“The reason I like the show so much is because there are gypsies coming to Paris. The so-called church-going people want to get rid of all foreigners and they build walls,” Hustoles said. “I think it’s incredibly timely for political reasons but then coincidentally timely because of what happened (this week).”

Written in 1831, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is Victor Hugo’s tale of Quasimodo, the deformed, yet tender-hearted, bell ringer for Notre Dame who is shown compassion by a young gypsy street dancer. The Disney version of tragic love told through animation and music raised awareness and controversy around what is interpreted as good and evil, ugly and magnanimous.

Having done previous stage versions of Disney productions, Hustoles said he wasn’t planning to direct this show until the musical director suggested he take a second look.

“It was never done on Broadway. The reason it was never done on Broadway is because it is the most un-Disney thing that Disney ever did,” Hustoles said. “It’s serious. It has character. It has plot. And yet it’s also incredibly romantic.”

The show’s music also features two heavy hitters. Composer Alan Menken is credited with the musical score for such Disney animated blockbusters as Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Lyricist Stephen Schwartz is best known for the Broadway smash hit, Wicked.

Hustoles said the cast of Hunchback is one of the largest for an MSU production. Along with the leads and support cast, the show features an onstage choir comprised of students from the music department.  

“Four out of the five leads are graduating seniors,” he added. “It’s really fun when you can go out on a literal high note.”

The title role features Billy Gleason as Quasimodo. Senior All-American Actor Mathew Sather appears as Captain Phoebus.

‘Our Esmeralda is played by Delanie Wiedrich, who is an All-American Actress. Two years ago when she won the status as best musical theatre actor in our region – which put her in the top eight in the country – she did a song from Hunchback.’

Paul Hustoles

“Our Esmeralda is played by Delanie Wiedrich, who is an All-American Actress,” Hustoles added. “Two years ago when she won the status as best musical theatre actor in our region – which put her in the top eight in the country – she did a song from Hunchback.”

That song, “Someday,” has earned “screaming ovations” for Wiedrich in the opening weekend, Hustoles added.

This weekend’s production closes MSU Theatre’s main stage season for the University’s sesquicentennial year. Hustoles said it’s not yet known if this week’s events will prompt ticket sales for the stage adaptation of Disney’s animated version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

“We normally get a bump in our second weekend,” he said. “The word of mouth (on this show) has been really very good. Many people thought this was the best show they’ve seen in quite some time, and I think we do pretty good shows. So that is a high compliment for us.”

Hustoles added that last Thursday’s snow also caused audience members to move their reservations to the second weekend.

One thing is for certain, audiences of this Disney musical will have a distinct historic perspective of an eight-century-old cathedral set against a 19th century social tale wrapped around today’s headlines of destruction and rebirth. Some could say that is theatre at its finest.

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Student Fee Referendum Passes By 16 Votes

Omar, Trenne Win; Inauguration April 17

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Passing by a 16-vote margin, students Tuesday supported a 4.9 percent increase to the Student Activity Fee in a Student Government ballot that included selection of Anisa Omar and Andrew Trenne with Empowering Mavericks as the incoming president and vice president.

2019-20 Student Government President Anisa Omar and Vice President Andrew Trenne.

Voter results for the referendum were 715 votes for the fee amendment and 699 opposed.

The passed amendment increases average student fees from $8.36 to $8.77 per credit hour effective in Fall 2019. Student Activity Fees support a range of programs including busing, student activities, theater and dance, multicultural student activities, and international student activities.

By more than twice the combined votes for the remaining two candidate tickets, Omar and Trenne received 1,044 votes to assume Student Government leadership for the 2019-2020 academic year. Other candidates on the ballot included Kayla Erickson/Logan Dahlk with Maverick: United As One, and write-in candidates Lindsey Leonard/Nick Krekelberg.

The Empowering Mavericks ticket had candidates in most senate races and all but swept the election. Elijah Calderon-Pitchford with Mavericks: United As One was named to one of two senator spots for the College of Allied Health and Nursing. Julia Nellis with Mavericks: United As One was named to an Off-campus Residents seat. Alejandra Bejarano was elected by write-in ballot for College of Graduate Studies. Appointed requires candidate’s acceptance.

Empowering Mavericks earning senate seats include:

College of Allied Health & Nursing: Gretchen Bygd

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences: Shayla Schumacher

Student Body At Large: Arnavee Maltare and Mohammad Sajal

College of Science, Engineering & Technology: Avishek Pradhan, Samikshya and Bishal Patel

College of Arts & Humanities: Olivia Schmidt and Paige Johnson

College of Business: Fadumo Mohamed and Toun Shokunbi

Off-campus Residents: Khaled Souleymane, Andrew Weinzierl, Janet Somah, Fatima Bana, Sneha Bhusal, Agol Akot, Rakhi Karki

Residential Life Residents: Alexander Prom, Sophie Hoiseth, Nolan Bessler, Emma Zellmer, and Jaydon Dickey

Newspaper Board: Jonathan Fjeld

Centennial Student Union Board: Arnavee Maltare and Jaydon Dickey

Inauguration for Omar, Trennen and the 87th Student Government Senate is set for Wednesday, April 17, at 5 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge.

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From Big Ideas to Dreams Come True

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by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

The Big Ideas Challenge, a competition between Minnesota State Mankato student entrepreneurs, will have its next winner announced April 15 in Ostrander Auditorium.

Seven different teams or individuals have successfully had their ideas and products moved through two rounds of judging. Five of the teams are in the “Main Category,” where any type of idea or venture is accepted. The other two finalists are apart of the “Ag/Food/Beverage,” which are ideas or ventures aimed at agriculture, food and beverage.

According the Big Ideas Challenge’s official website, the final round teams will present seven-minute pitches to an audience and panel of judges. Each presentation will be followed by 10 minutes of Q&A from the judges. The winner of each category will be announced following the presentation of each ideas and will receive $15,000 to help fund business development.

The Finalists

Main Category

  • Maggie Knier, 2True Headbands
  • Ben Lundquist, Enduramark
  • Alpha, CalcX
  • AJ Rana, Hopynn
  • Katie Torgeson, Wryng


  • Hannah Perez and Caelin Laakkonen, Ba\ance
  • David Bassey, Ceed Energy

More information about each finalist and their ideas can be found on the Big Ideas Challenge Facebook event page. Additional information about the Big Ideas Challenge can be found on its official website.

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Several Events Raise Sexual Assault Awareness at MSU

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by ABIGAIL SKAALERUD, CSU Public Relations Intern

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and the Women’s Center is hosting numerous events to show support for this serious cause.

On April 9, “It Happens to Us, Too,” addresses sexual abuse in LGBTQ relationships. The presentation will be n CSU 201 from 12-1:30 p.m.

An ultimate end to sexual violence is sought at the annual, “Take Back the Night” event on April 23 from 5-7p.m., on the Presca Lawn. The program includes a rally, march, a speak out as well as fundraiser for those who have been affected by sexual violence.

“Denim Day” will be on April 24. Wearing denim for the day raises awareness as a means of protest against rape myths and victim blaming. Participants will meet in front of the CSU Ballroom and walk over to Red Lips for a picture from 12-1p.m.

Continuing April 24 activities is “Healing and Learning: Dealing with Trauma in Communities of Color” which will in CSU 245 from 5-7 p.m. This will focus on dealing with trauma, the need to heal, race/consciousness/politics, and how toxic masculinity hurts everyone.

April is important time to acknowledge what goes on around us and those affected by sexual violcence. Take time this month to invest in one of these events and learn more about sexual assault and how it affects the world we live in.

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April 4 Women-in-STEM Dinner Offers Info, Etiquette

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by ABIGAIL SKAALERUD, CSU Public Relations Intern

Women Interested in being part of STEM while expanding etiquette experiences will participate in the Thursday, April 4, STEM Networking Dinner.

The event, which includes an etiquette dinner featuring Deenna Latus Steinhaus, owner of Etiquette and More, is from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Pre-registration was required.


Over the last nine years, Steinhaus as presented programs to students, alumni, faculty, and staff on the topics of dining etiquette, professional dress, business etiquette and behaviors, and transitioning from student to professional.

This event is hosted by the Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence and the MSU, Mankato Women’s Center and College of Science, Engineering and Technology, and sponsored by Regenerative Medicine Minnesota Education Program Grant, Design Ready Controls, and Finley Engineering.

The event provide a networking opportunity for post-secondary students in STEM degree programs. Student participants can meet and learn from individuals within different STEM careers.

This event includes an etiquette dinner and keynote speaker. The free event is open to anyone but registration is encouraged. Sign up today and quick start your opportunities!

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Maverick Golfer Nattiya Somboonsup is a ‘Directioner’

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

On this week’s edition of Maverick Spotlight, the inSIDER reaches out to Nattiya Somboonsup. A senior on the MSU Maverick Women’s Golf team, Somboonsup is a is from Chonburi, Thailand. Some of her accolades include a 2016-17 NSIC Second Team selection, being a two-time NSIC All-Academic selection, and capturing medalist honors at the WSU Warrior Invitational Sept 18, 2018. Let’s get to know a Nattiya a little bit better.


Maverick Spotlight

  1. What three words best describe you?
    • Foodie, dedicated, old-soul
  2. What tops your list of pet peeves? 
    • Loud chewing
  3. As the only human left on Earth, what would you do?
    • Everything
  4. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
    • I decided to come to US for college because of a guy. Even though we broke up, I’m glad I’m here because I have made my best friends and made the good memories.
  5. Who is your all-time favorite sports star?
    • Rory McIlroy
  6.  What is your most prized possession?
    • My family pictures and videos, especially of my baby brother
  7.  What three items can always be found in your refrigerator?
    • Eggs, Milk, Ice cream
  8.   What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
    •  I take really good pictures. I have artist eyes.
  9.  Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
    • One Direction. I am a huge Directioner
  10.  What movie title best describes your life?
    • It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  11.  What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?
    •  I won VIP tickets here at MSU for BOB homecoming concert 2017! 
  12.  What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?
    • Not sure. 
  13.  If all jobs had the same pay and hours, what job would you like to have?
    • Not sure. 
  14. Who inspires you to be better?
    • My parents.
  15.  What is something you will NEVER do again?
    • Love someone more than they love me.
  16.  What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
    •  Game of Thrones… I tried but it’s just not my thing.
  17.  If you could have a super power, what would it be? 
    • To be happy forever and be able to give happiness to others 
  18.  If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? 
    • Traveling the world
  19.  What type of music would you (do you) sing in the shower? 
    • Really sad songs.
  20.  What do you like most about Minnesota State University, Mankato? 
    Diversity and people are really nice. There are so many beautiful cultures to learn from. I love experiencing them all.

Thank you to Nattiya for taking the time to answer the Athlete Spotlight questions. If you know of an athlete or are an athlete who would like to be featured in the Athlete Spotlight, send an email to Alexander.baumann@mnsu.edu.

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‘Mavericks Be the Change’ Tackles Common Campus Issues

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

Positive change will be coming to the Minnesota State Mankato campus April 22-25. as various campus organizations show how students can make a difference and be the change for major issues facing all Mavericks.

Each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the organizations will be in the Lincoln Lounge showing how all Mavericks can “Be The Change.”

Lydia Jagodzinski with the Student Events Team coordinating the event, said the week brings awareness to campus issues and moves toward addressing them in a better way.

On Monday April 22, the Veteran’s Resource Center will be advocating for Veterans on campus. In the week preceding, the Veteran’s Resource Center also has many Veteran focused events scheduled. For more information regarding those events, click here.

On Tuesday April 23, the Women’s Center will be discussing and advocating for change regarding bystander awareness.

On Wednesday April 24, the Community Engagement Office will discuss food insecurity.

On Thursday April 25, the Counseling Center will discuss coping skills and mental health awareness.

All of these issues affect most students, faculty, and staff members. Each of these organizations will not only get to showcase themselves to the people on campus, they will get to advocate for and be the change at MSU.

For more information on Mavericks Be the Change contact Lydia Jagodzinski from Student Activities Lydia.jagodzinski@mnsu.edu.

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MSU Alumna Schriock To Speak On Women in Politics

Stephanie Schriock, Alumna and President of EMILY’s List speaks at the April 10 annual Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture.

Emily’s List Presidents Seeks To Empower Progressive Ideas at Annual Lecture

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by ABIGAIL SKAALERUD, CSU Public Relations Intern

With more and more women are making their mark on political issues and the political world, Minnesota State Mankato alumna Stephanie Schriock seeks to empower pro-choice, Democratic women to run for office.

Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, brings her message to the Centennial Student Union Ballroom on Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. for this year’s 14th Annual Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture.

‘EMILY’s List isn’t just about funding elections to get women elected. Our focus is on putting the right pro-choice Democratic women into office who will balance the face of the government, and make decisions that really improve societies across the country.’

Stephanie Schriock, President

Liz Steinborn-Gourley, director of the Women’s Center said Schriock was selected for this year’s lecture to heighten awareness to the potential for women in politicis.

“I think that the political landscape is shifting in the United States to have more women representing their communities in office, and Stephanie can speak to that on a national level,” Steinborn-Gourley said.

Tickets are free, but space is filling up, so be sure to get tickets ahead of time!

According to its website, EMILY’s List seeks to put women into office to impact change in areas of education, health care and economic equality

EMILY’s List assists in recruiting strong progressive female political candidates across the country. The program assists campaign funding efforts, research and getting women out to vote.

With some 5 million followers, EMILY’s List assists and recognizes more than 1,200 women who have won elections at various levels of politics.

“EMILY’s List isn’t just about funding elections to get women elected,” Schriock states on the website. “Our focus is on putting the right pro-choice Democratic women into office who will balance the face of the government, and make decisions that really improve societies across the country.”

Since 2003, the Carol Ortman Perkins Lectureship, invites distinguished feminist to the Minnesota State Mankato campus. The lectureship seeks to promote feminist scholarship and activism and to encourage the exchange of ideas.

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Professor Sees Fear & Financial Implications From Boeing Groundings

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by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

‘It’s a psychological thing for the passengers. When you ground an airplane like that, everyone gets overly scared. Now they don’t want to fly in it. Even if they fix it, they (passengers) don’t want to fly in it.’

Tom Peterson, Minnesota State Mankato Assistant Professor of Aviation

Aircrafts carry more than 8 million people around the world daily. So what happens when a certain type of aircraft crashes twice in a six-month period?

The world found out between March 10 and March 13 when countries all around world indefinitely grounded Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft after a software malfunction caused Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to crash six minutes after takeoff with 157 passengers and crew on board.

Southwest Airlines is among those that have invested heavily into the new Boeing 737 MAX.

Tom Peterson, Minnesota State Mankato assistant professor of aviation, shared his thoughts on the groundings and what impact it could have on the airline industry moving forward.

“I don’t think it was a bad decision to ground the planes, but it had some big implications,” he said.

Passenger trust in the flying the 737 MAX along with the cost to airlines and Boeing are among the repercussions.

“It’s a psychological thing for the passengers,” he said. “When you ground an airplane like that, everyone gets overly scared. Now they don’t want to fly in it. Even if they fix it, they (passengers) don’t want to fly in it.”

Airlines also take a big financial hit from the groundings. The groundings also financially hit the airlines.

“The airlines that are heavily invested in these 737, you know, American Airlines is one and Southwest is another one, they have to cancel a lot of flights while these things are down. So on the bottom line it’s pretty expensive,” Peterson said.

Boeing’s stock prices plummeted following the groundings. Airline shares dropped $50 to $373.30 between March 8 and 14. This was after Boeing had a stock price of $440.62 – its highest in five years – just a week earlier.

“Boeing’s reputation is at stake now and that could create further problems for them down the road,” Peterson said.

Earlier this week, Boeing said resolving the software problem suspected for the crashes may take longer than expected. Peterson said this event may be a wakeup call to Boeing and other companies that build aircrafts.

“Occasionally I think we get a little too smart for of ourselves and add a little too much automation to (the aircrafts),” he said. “They were trying to make the aircraft much more fuel-efficient, much quieter, all these things that we complain about and are concerned about and, in doing that, they just created new problems.”

Peterson hopes that after Boeing fixes the issue that more precise and widespread training is mandated to ensure no further crashes.

“Hopefully everyone gets all the necessary training to go with the fix because not all airline training is the same.”

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Veterans Resource Center

Serving the Needs of Those Who Served for Us

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

For the March RSO of the Month, the inSIDER recognizes our Veterans and those with a Military Connection. We salute those pursuing their education who chose to protect and defend the rights we all enjoy. We thank those individuals whose family members served or who share other military connections.

In honoring our veterans, we also offer a closer look at the Veterans Resource Center which provides services and programming for veterans. Special VRC programming is planned for April 15-19.

Currently, about 600 veterans from all service branches attend Minnesota State Mankato. Our veterans range from those currently serving part-time in the Minnesota Army National Guard while attending MSU as full-time students to those who have finished their time in service, have families, and are transitioning to being a civilian.

The Veterans Resource Center in CSU 167 (near Student Activities), is a space specifically for veterans or anyone with a military affiliation.

“We are happy to have anyone with a military affiliation come and visit. It’s a place to study, have lunch, get information, and connect with friends,” said Tim Adams, Veterans Resource Center Student Success Coordinator.

The Veteran’s Resource Center helps veterans get connected with the resources necessary to complete their education whether it be helping select a major, get connected with academic advisors, and assisting with using financial benefits. 

“We provide a space for veterans to feel welcome, feel free to speak their mind, and have a place that they can come in and feel comfortable,” said Adams. 

For the week of April 15-April 19 there will be events specifically for veterans and raising awareness and visibility of veterans on MSU’s campus. The scheduled events are: 

April 15-19: Pushups in the CSU Courtyard 

April 16: Health & Exercise Panel in the CSU 

April 17: Highway Cleanup

April 18: Kayaking Trip on Blue Earth River 

April 19: Dining Out at the VFW

Stay tuned to the Veteran’s Resource Center’s Facebook Page for further details on those events.  

When veterans are approaching graduation, the Veterans Resource Center is a great place to get connected with potential employers and getting on track for any career field.

For further information what the Veteran’s Resource Center contact Tim Adams (tim.adams@mnsu.edu) or for information on financial matters contact David Schrader (Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, David.schrader@mnsu.edu)

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