Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Montessori Show at the Alchemist

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Though no one has specifically mentioned it, I feel the need to defend the amount of blog space I’ve been giving to the Alchemist Theatre . . .  honestly, the reason they get mentioned as much as they do is . . . as a venue they end up opening more shows than any other space in Milwaukee. The Rep has a lot of shows opening-up in any given season, but they’re only predominantly active from September through May. The Alchemist has no specified season and ends up opening new shows every month. So—in anticipation of someone mentioning that I tend to focus pretty heavily on the Alchemist—it’s only because—as a venue, they open more shows in a given year than any other place in town . . . any other place is perfectly welcome to open more shows than them and end up getting more attention on the blog--but that's not going to happen . . .

With that being said, I will make mention of yet another show that Alchemist will be opening—this one at the beginning of next week. Alchemist Theatre guru Aaron Kopec sent me an email earlier today mentioning an upcoming opening of a new play written and performed entirely by the kids at the Downtown Montessori School. Their play—A Study In Time will be performed next Tuesday, May 19th at the Alchemist. The show starts at 6pm. Kopec has jokingly offered me beer to see the show. Honestly, that’s not necessary . . . the biggest problem with the future of theatre in Milwaukee (and I’ve had at least one relatively long-running Milwaukee theatre figure unwittingly back me up on this) is that funding is constantly being cut from the arts in primary schools. People aren’t being exposed to theatre in this town at the kind of early age they really should be to gain an appreciation for the stage . . . and so yes—I will attend A Study In Time—not because I’ve been jokingly offered beer—but because theatre being performed publicly be primary school students should be attended by the general public. Activity on a primary school level helps to maintain a vibrant theatre scene in Milwaukee. (And, honestly it doesn’t hurt that there’s beer at the Alchemist . . .)

The show in question isn’t listed on Alchemist Theatre’s online calendar, but I have no palpable reason to doubt a personal email sent to me from the Alchemist’s Aaron Kopec . . . look for coverage of the Downtown Montessori School’s production of A Study In Time next week Wednesday . . . anyone fanatically interested in the future of Milwaukee theatre might want to see the show scheduled for 6pm, May 19th . . .

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