An Evening at the Guthrie Theater

Amber JurgensenAmber Jurgensen
Student Representative, Southern Region, 2015-2016
Rho Gamma Chapter
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

This fall, the student leaders had the chance to attend a production of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Wurtele Thrust Stage of the Guthrie Theater, an important cultural and historical landmark of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The play, adapted from the much-beloved book by Harper Lee, remained true to its source material with only a few slight alterations. The actors brilliantly performed their roles on a visually stunning set that was incredibly detailed and well-designed to incorporate integral aspects of Maycomb, AL. Based on this incredible performance, a visit to the Guthrie is highly recommended during your stay in Minneapolis for the Sigma Tau Delta 2016 International Convention.

Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater / Photo Credit: Meet Minneapolis

The Guthrie, named for Sir Tyrone Guthrie, opened its doors in 1963. Since then, it has been the staging ground for numerous Shakespeare plays as well as such familiar titles as She Stoops to Conquer, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Great Gatsby. The theater moved to the west bank of the Mississippi River in 2006, providing its audience with a breathtaking view as they wait for productions to begin. Its proscenium stage, studio theater, and thrust stage allow for a wide variety of theatrical ventures to be produced and displayed to the public. The esteemed theater celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, and remains a vital part of the cultural atmosphere in Minneapolis.

Group at Guthrie TheaterTo Kill a Mockingbird heralded the start of the 2015-2016 season at the Guthrie, running from September 12 to October 18. Set in 1950s Alabama, the story follows a young girl nicknamed Scout as she observes her father’s efforts to defend an African American man named Tom Robinson against a white woman who has wrongfully accused him of assault. The play’s themes of justice and injustice, juxtaposed with the point of view of a child, her brother, and her friend, accurately mirror Harper Lee’s story, which generations of readers have cherished. The casting was impeccable, the accents authentic, and several scenes left me with goosebumps. I exited the theater with the sense that justice had been done to a tale I knew well, and the play was a source of discussion throughout the night and well into the next morning.

During the 2016 International Convention, “The Critic” and “The Real Inspector Hound” will be produced on the McGuire Proscenium Stage, and You for Me for You will be shown in the Dowling Studio. In addition, backstage tours will be available, and one may dine at the Sea Change Restaurant and Bar. Don’t miss out on your chance to visit this world-renowned theater!

Have you been to the Guthrie before? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Guthrie Theatre Discount

The Guthrie has made available to us a discount code for the 7:30 p.m. production of “The Critic” and “The Real Inspector Hound” on Friday, March 4. The code is only valid for this show and is only to be used by Sigma Tau Delta. Convention attendees, please check your email for the discount code.

Winning an Internship with

Kelsey PotterKelsey Potter
2015 Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend Recipient
Delta Epsilon Upsilon Chapter
The University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY is a website you probably frequent. With over 3.5 million credible articles from knowledgeable experts, often is one of the first websites to populate with a Google search. This summer, I had the fantastic opportunity to work as a public relations intern with, and it was a life-changing experience. Because of Sigma Tau Delta’s Summer Internship Stipend, I was able to afford the costly move north to New York City, and I am so grateful to have spent my summer there.

One awesome thing about my internship was the location. Every morning I rode the 6 and S trains down to the office in the center of Times Square along Broadway, right beside the Good Morning America studio. My desk was by the window where throughout the day I could peek outside to see the excited crowds gathered below. Once I saw a performance with dogs jumping into giant pools of water, and the next day, a live airing of a cooking competition—all from my window!

about.comI am an English and Integrated Strategic Communication double major, and my internship was a perfect blend of what I’ve learned at the University of Kentucky. The company was not advertising for interns on their website, so I submitted my resume through the “If you don’t see a position that interests you, click here to let us know how you can make a difference at” section. My initiative was successful and I was off to New York.

At, I flexed my writing skills by creating blog posts and researching the field to create an internal newsletter. I aided in event planning and working with clients, and offered my input on future projects. Working for such a large company was daunting, but I always felt my opinion was valued, and my two supervisors were great about keeping me involved and informed. Working at gave me a perfect view into what I could do once I graduate, and without Sigma Tau Delta’s stipend, I never would have been able to afford the cost of living in the city to participate in the internship.

Playbill CollageAfter work, most of my free time was spent trying to obtain discounted tickets for plays. During my first weekend in the city, I won lottery tickets to see The Tempest, put on by Shakespeare in the Park, and it took me by storm. I also student rushed for tickets to see Finding Neverland, and scored inexpensive second row seats! I was so excited to see my namesake, Kelsey Grammar, preform live. I also explored the city, finding so many interesting parades and festivals, such as the Museum Mile Festival.

Tea and EBookNow that I’m back home in Kentucky it’s strange I don’t have to take a train to get to class or work. While I can’t say I miss the lack of personal space or the sweltering heat, I know on my morning stroll I will yearn for pancakes from Timmy’s Diner on York Avenue. I will wish I could swing by Central Park to sit and drink my coffee. I had to say goodbye to the Big Apple, but after Sigma Tau Delta’s generosity allowed me to experience it, I know I’ll be seeing New York City again soon.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the office with CEO, Neil Vogel.

When has a bold move worked in your favor to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime experience to advance your career and education?

Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend

Application Period: February 1 – March 21
Sigma Tau Delta offers funding for current undergraduate and graduate student members accepting non- or low-paying summer internships. The Summer Internship Stipend is a competitive program providing a limited number of stipends of up to $1,500 each.

The internship must involve working for an “organization” while being directed by a supervisor/mentor within that organization, and the internship’s duties must be consistent with the applicant’s level of education, area of study, and career goals. Financial need will be taken into consideration. Applicants are responsible for obtaining and providing verification of the internship. Decisions will be made by May 2.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating with Literature

Amber JurgensenAmber Jurgensen
Southern Region Student Representative
Rho Gamma Chapter
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

As another school year begins and students file into classrooms, many instructors look forward to using classic and modern literature to educate, entertain, and foster discussion. After all, the English classroom is where most people encounter and discover a love for the written word; however, an unexpected enemy thwarts teachers and librarians in educational facilities across the nation. Even in today’s more enlightened and tolerant society, banning and censoring books is a serious issue.

Banned Books WeekBanned Books Week (BBW) was created in 1982 to raise awareness of this important area of literary contention. Sponsored by such organizations as the American Library Association (ALA), Association of American Publishers, and the National Council of Teachers of English, the event celebrates the written word and the freedom to enjoy it, while highlighting the very real problems posed by challenging the availability of certain books in our schools. Many colleges and universities contribute to BBW by hosting read-outs of popular and beloved books that have fallen prey to censorship. This year, BBW takes place from September 27 to October 3, and focuses on young adult books.

So, why do parents and schools attempt to challenge and suppress certain books? According to the ALA, the answer usually is “to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information…‘inappropriate’ sexual content or ‘offensive’ language.” Last year’s most attacked books include Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. These novels and others like them are faced with a barrage of requests for removal from school curriculums because of language or content. In some cases, these books’ opponents succeed in preventing important thematic discussions because of personal bias.

If you or your Sigma Tau Delta chapter wishes to contribute to the BBW celebration, a good place to start is the official website. You also can participate in this year’s Virtual Read-Out by creating and submitting a video, which could be featured on the official Banned Books Week YouTube channel. When you plan your event, consider sharing your ideas with your Sigma Tau Delta regional Facebook page for feedback and support. As members of Sigma Tau Delta, let’s work together to speak out against the censorship of literature and celebrate the written word.