Performing Arts Weekly: April 13-19, 2017
Rep Lab of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater
The seventh annual Rep Lab of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater continues the company’s tradition of presenting short plays by its Emerging Professional Residents (EPRs). The 2017 installment, taking place over five days, features 10 plays that are variously directed, acted and produced by current or past Rep EPRs. The plays are, for the most part, contemporary (no William Shakespeare here). One of them, Devised Piece, has been crafted from scratch by the Emerging Professional Residents themselves.
The remaining nine short plays on the roster are Bedfellows, The Coyote Stratagem, The Blizzard, Opening, Alien Monster Bowling League, Heavy Cream, Pigskin, Life and Goat. All told, there are eight EPR cast members who each assume four different roles in the plays. Other EPR members populate the production staff—costume design and construction, lighting design, stage management and so forth.
Rep Lab, something of a theater student’s version of boot camp, is a great way to see local young talent both on and behind stage and to visualize what the future of our area’s professional theater companies might look and sound like.
April 13-17, Stiemke Studio, 108 E. Wells St. For tickets, call 414-224-9490 or visit milwaukeerep.com.
Charles Dickens penned this, what would become his penultimate finished novel, as a weekly serial in the early 1860s. So many years later, Great Expectations is still regarded as one of the finest of his 15 novels, standing shoulder to shoulder with his classics Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities. The Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents Great Expectations in a striking 1993 adaptation by playwright, director, actor and teacher Gale Childs Daly. Great Expectations contains a 30-character roster, but less than half that number of MCT actors will challengingly fulfill those many roles. Interestingly, though Daly’s version of Great Expectations has been seen around the U.S., it hasn’t appeared on stage in her native state, Wisconsin, until now.
April 13-30, Cabot Theatre of the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway. For tickets, call 414-291-7800 or visit milwaukechambertheatre.com.
Faith & Jealousy: Othello and Much Ado About Nothing
William Shakespeare’s plays cover the gamut of human emotion in such a realistic and thoroughly relatable way that they will live forever. We’ve all experienced jealousy, for example. Perhaps the ultimate expression of that corrosive emotion is found in his tragedy, Othello, which is also something of a treatise on love, betrayal, revenge and racism. The element of faith—in the sense of that held between romantic partners—is likewise central to his comedy Much Ado About Nothing, interwoven into a plot filled with mistaken identities, court politics and themes of love, shame and honor. Presented on a rotating schedule by the staff and students of UW-Milwaukee’s Theatre Department, both plays will be performed by five actors assuming all 18 roles.
April 12-23, Kenilworth Five-O-Eight, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place. For tickets, call 414-229-4308 or visit arts.uwm.edu/tickets.