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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Carnal 'Help Wanted' at Alchemist Theatre

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Aaron Kopec, playwright of Murder Castle and Faust, has explored dark parts of the psyche in productions at the Alchemist Theatre. This summer, however, Kopec offers up Help Wanted, a show that should be less sinister and more subtle. Help Wanted is an ensemble piece set in a 1940s work office. Characters work for a business machine company loosely based on IBM.

Help Wanted
concerns itself with the carnal end of human endeavors. Kopec describes the play as "an exploration of how individuals discover their own needs and desires." In the 1940s, this means accepting those needs and desires in the context of a conservative office culture.

Kopec stars in the play alongside some talented local actors, many of who have recently made memorable turns on stages in the Milwaukee area. Clayton Hamburg was dark and tortured in The World's Stage's The Unseen last January. Michael Keiley played one half of the best romance on a local stage last year in Boulevard's staging of A Village Wooing. And Randall T. Anderson has been charming as Jack Farwell in multiple productions with Wisconsin Hybrid Theater.

Kopec has immersed himself in the script. "We're all working really hard to bring a well-rounded piece to the stage with drama, some heartfelt moments and a good amount of humor," Kopec says.

Alchemist Theatre's Help Wanted runs June 7-23 at 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. For ticket reservations, visit www.thealchemisttheatre.com.

Theater Happenings


  • The Author's Voice, a last-minute addition to the summer theater scene, is a free show being staged in a house, at 1713 N. Marshall St. Directed by Milwaukee theater icon Bo Johnson, the show stars three talented young actors: Adrian Feliciano, Brittany McDonald and Jason Waszak. The Author's Voice runs June 7-9, 11-12 and 15-16. All shows start at 8 p.m.
  • The slightly off-center minds of puppet group Angry Young Men Ltd. help kick off the warm-weather months with Full Frontal Pϋppetry: Summer Sell-Out. The variety show mixes sketch comedy, musical numbers and plenty of puppets. The show, which features guest star Alice Wilson of the M.U.T.E.S., runs June 8-July 21 at Soulstice Theatre, 3770 S. Pennsylvania Ave., St. Francis. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.
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