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NRT Presents: ‘The Dealer’

For all you theater-lovers out there, never fear — No Refund Theatre is officially back for the spring season. A new semester means a new line up of shows, and this semester’s schedule is definitely one you won’t want to miss.

NRT will kick off with an original production titled “The Dealer.” Penn State senior Ian Felker originally wrote and directed the play. This is Felker’s fourth year and 19th show with NRT. He’s pretty much done it all — he enjoys working with tech, directing plays, and even taking the stage himself. In fact, you might recognize him as one of the cast members from last semester’s production of “Inherit the Wind.”

Despite being a seasoned member of NRT, he admits he’s still a bit new to the playwright world.

“This is the first full-length play I’ve ever written,” Felker said. “I took a playwriting class one semester, so I’ve written a couple of other things, but this is the most significant thing I’ve written so far.”

Working on this type of piece is no easy feat, and creating the show hasn’t gone without its fair share of bumps along the way. In the beginning, Felker had a hard time channeling his own artistic voice, as well as writing a play he was even satisfied with at all.

“The main thing with directing and having written my own script was the temptation to rewrite,” Felker said. “I still have the temptation to rewrite some parts for the sake of the storyline, but I don’t because then the actors would have to memorize that new piece. Resisting the urge to rewrite has been the biggest struggle.”

But when the actors do finally take the stage, they’ll invite readers to delve into what truly is an intriguing storyline. “The Dealer” centers on a lonely art dealer named Mark who possesses the unique ability to talk to the paintings he sells. Unfortunately, his loneliness causes him to have trouble distinguishing human characteristics from the voices of inanimate objects, and he eventually falls in love with one of his pieces — that is, until a woman named Penelope buys the object of his obsession. Mark then begins to fall in love with Penelope and things get, well…a little complicated. Mark faces the daunting task of dealing with the very emotions he has kept buried inside for so long.

You’ll definitely want to find out what happens at the end of NRT’s first show of the spring season. NRT will present the production this Thursday through Saturday in 111 Forum at 8 p.m.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at

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