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'Corn Man' brings laughs, smackdown to UNK theatre
Megan Blume
Antelope Staff
Photo by Megan Blume
Jordan Peterson, right, a junior musical education major from O’Neill, plays the lead role of Corn Man, while Spencer Wolfe, left, a senior theatre major from Lincoln, stars as the Playwright. This is one of two fight scenes between the Playwright and Corn Man.


Looking for something to do this week? Why not follow an ear of corn on his journey of self-discovery and have a few laughs during the performance of “Corn Man.”

“Corn Man” is an original play written in 2001 by Janice Fronczak, a UNK theatre professor.

“I was new to Nebraska and the Midwest, and I was driving around when I got lost in the cornfields,” Fronczak said. “I started wondering what it would be like if an ear of corn wanted to leave, and that’s how the idea of ‘Corn Man’ formed. After Sept. 11 happened, the play totally changed, and took on a new direction.”

“Corn Man” centers around a disgruntled ear of corn that escapes from the cornfield, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, he meets a number of colorful characters including Potato Man, She-Corn Man, the Stranger and his own creator, the Playwright.

“It’s definitely a comedy, but it has romance in it. My idea was to combine all the genres, so there is drama, comedy, music and more,” Fronczak said. “It’s a play with music, but not a musical.”

Jordan Peterson, a junior musical education major from O’Neill, plays the lead role of Corn Man. He has been in four UNK productions, and several plays and musicals at Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, Mo.

“I feel like I have a lot in common with the character that I am playing,” Peterson said. “He [Corn Man] really doesn’t know his place in the world, and the whole play is about him trying to discover where he should be in the world, and where he came from. I think this is a question that anyone at this stage in their life goes through.”  

According to Fronczak, Peterson was a good fit for the role. “I chose Jordan Peterson as Corn Man because I knew he could switch from the different genres, and he matched the singing requirement.”

Perterson said the cast is the best part of “Corn Man.” “I am thrilled to be working with really good friends of mine in the theatre department.  The cast really does an outstanding job, and I think everyone fits their characters perfectly. It really makes for some truly beautiful and outright hilarious moments.”

One hilarious moment we can expect: the Playwright giving Corn Man a smackdown. What could be funnier than a fight scene between a vegetable and his creator?

“The audience can also expect a very unusual play, because you never know what’s going to happen,” Fronczak said. “You will think it is one thing, but there are a lot of surprises.”
Peterson agrees and said the show has something for everyone.

“Expect to see a great new play that really has a little bit of everything, from really truthful moments to some of the funniest moments I've been a part of in a show.”

Interested in seeing the play? See 'Corn Man' Oct. 6-10. The play will be showing in the studio theatre located on the lower level of the Fine Arts Building. Tickets are free to UNK students and $5 for non-students and faculty.

  • Oct. 6-9 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 10 at 2 p.m.

Reporter Josh Kaufman

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