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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Woods Makes Some Noise at the Borg Ward

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With the exception of a staged reading last September, Peter J. Woods largely has been absent from the theater scene for the past few years. Instead, the actor/playwright has focused on the music of noise rock—beautiful, aggressive, disharmonious. But Woods hasn't abandoned theater altogether. In July, for one weekend only, Woods returns to the theatrical realm with Standingstillorworse, a program of short experimental work.

Much of the show seems to challenge the concept of narrative stage presentation. It's a fusion of noise music and theater under a series of individual, unifying images. According to Woods, imagery includes "a person onstage slowly moving through a stack of identical papers, a pipe slowly trying to grind through a sheet of metal and failing, a mouth filled to the point of choking with candy, a glimpse of a crazed being let loose." The show ends with "Pity," a short monologue in which Woods paints himself out of existence—metaphorically speaking.

It's difficult to find truly experimental works in Milwaukee, so it's nice to see Woods' distinct style returning to theater—if only for one weekend.

Peter J. Woods' Standingstillorworse runs 8 p.m. July 1-3 at The Borg Ward (823 W. National Ave.). All tickets are $5.

Theater Happenings


  • UW-Whitewater begins its Summeround season this week with a production of Joe DiPietro's The Art of Murder. A successful artist plans to murder his agent in this cleverly constructed comedy that runs June 21-25 at the Greenhill Center of the Arts' Hicklin Studio Theatre. To reserve tickets, call 262-472-2222.

  • The cult hit musical Church Basement Ladies comes to the stage of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts this week. A seasoned cast including Beth Mulkerron, Norman Moses and Jenny Wanasek brings the humor of Minnesota church culture to Milwaukee June 23-Aug. 7. To reserve tickets, call 414-273-7206.