April 12, 2012



Production information, 973-618-6355
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Donations to be accepted for suicide-prevention project


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The Drama Committee of Montana State University Billings will take on the emotional and complex issue of suicide with a production of the play “Like Dreaming, Backwards.” The play will be performed Friday, April 13 again on Tuesday, April 17 in the Liberal Arts Building small theater, Room 620, on the  on the MSU Billings campus.


""Both shows are at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free, but donations are encouraged for suicide prevention awareness.  Advance reservations for this production are strongly recommended because of limited seating. Please call 973-618-6355 to make reservations for all performances.


The play, written by Kellie Powell, will feature a talented cast of undergraduate students under the collaborative direction of Amanda Grubbs, Phillip Holliday, Christopher Hughes, Joanna Johnson, Cory Keltner, Courtney Keyes, Sean Slaugh, Jeremiah Thompson, Matthew Tomljenovich, Miriam Veltman, and Sonja Volz with the supervision by Randy Pugh, faculty member in the Department of Communication and Theatre.


“Like Dreaming, Backwards” is a dramatic interpretation of a college student, Nell, suffering from depressive psychosis. She is encouraged by hallucinatory “messengers” to commit suicide. These messengers take the forms of a childhood friend, a former lover, and her dead father. This emotionally intense play also illustrates the grief experienced by those Nell leaves behind, including her best friend and her mother.


According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the state of Montana is currently the number one state in suicide rates. These groups of student directors want to create more awareness and prevention of suicide in the community and “Like Dreaming, Backwards” was the perfect play to carry that effort, said student Miriam Veltman.


The cast includes:

  • Sonja Volz as Nell
  • Joanna Johnson as Leah
  • Amanda Grubbs as Natalie
  • Phillip Holliday and Christopher Hughes as Yale
  • Courtney Keyes as Libby
  • Sean Slaugh as Deck
  • Jeremiah Thompson and Matthew Tomljenovich as Hath

Donations will be used for a suicide prevention project under the direction of MSU Billings professor Dr. Sarah Keller taking place in Miles City this summer. 


After a production of her play in Binghamton, New York, playwright Powell said “I hope that this play makes people talk. Because sometimes that is the worst thing about being depressed — lying, pretending to be fine, not wanting to burden other people, feeling guilty about feeling sad. If the play encourages people to talk about their suffering, then I consider it a worthwhile project.”


For more information and reservations, call 973-618-6355.


Production Poster