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Native brings production back to Ransom




RANSOM -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Tucson, Ariz. Winnipeg, Canada.

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RANSOM -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Tucson, Ariz. Winnipeg, Canada.

Those are just a few of the cities Angela Horchem has visited during the last three months while on tour to perform an original theater production. But she eagerly is anticipating another performance next week, when she will add the northwest Kansas town of Ransom to her itinerary.

Horchem, who grew up on a farm near Ransom, is excited to share the show with family and longtime friends.

"It's definitely about sharing it with our friends and family," she said. "We're trying to keep sharing our work with the places that kind of got us on this path and helped us get where we are."

Horchem, along with a co-founder, heads up Theatre 3, a Tucson-based physical theater production company. The theater created eight new shows last year and will bring one of them, "MixTape," to Ransom High School at 7 p.m. Aug. 9.

The show will last nearly an hour, followed by a question-and-answer session with Horchem and her business partner, Matt Walley. Ticket prices are by donation.

The two-person show consists of 10 short segments, all of which showcase different styles of physical theater, such as clown and mime performances, eccentric dance and acrobatics.

Horchem said the production is family-friendly. While the performance will feature clowns and often proves entertaining for young children, attendees of all ages seem to enjoy it.

"I think that's my favorite part about all of what we've received in terms of feedback," she said. "Very little kids will be giggling and squealing with delight, but older kids will be laughing as well and really enjoying themselves. It's for the very young to the young at heart. There's something in it for all ages."

The two actors do not have a spoken dialogue; rather, the production relies heavily on music. The music selected for the show also is reminiscent of Horchem's childhood. In keeping with the title, featured songs hail from the "casette era" she grew up in, she said.

Growing up in small-town Kansas, Horchem said she did not have many opportunities to experience theater as a child. Rather, she was an avid athlete.

She saw more productions while pursuing an undergraduate degree at Emporia State University, then moved to Omaha, Neb., to pursue a graduate degree. It was during her time in Omaha that she completely fell in love with physical theater.

"It was really in Omaha that I really kind of uncovered so much potential and realized, 'OK, this is awesome,' " she said. "I was a big sports player, and I began to see there was a way to connect the physical with the stories of theater."

From there, she enrolled in Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, Calif. That's where she met Walley, and the two decided to start their own business.

Through it all, Horchem remembers her rural Kansas roots; she visited her hometown in 2009 for a smaller production. She also taught creative workshops for her high school speech and journalism teacher, who will be running the sound and lightboard for next week's full-scale production.

"We're always looking for opportunities to take our work back to our hometowns," she said. "I always like to try to give back. I know how much I didn't know when I was that age, and how much I wish I had known."