Friday, June 12, 2009

Staged Readings

By Russ Bickerstaff
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In addition to the intimate staging of Hamlet next week, there are a couple of staged readings going on next week. As impatient as I feel about Milwaukee developing a self-sustaining indigenous theatre scene, it’s nice to know that for at least one week in June, no less than two new works written by local playwrights are being read publicly.



Next week Saturday, new local theatre group Vanity Theatre Company introduces itself to audiences with a staged reading of Giant Days—a new play by Erik Ebarp. The play was inspired by Ebarp’s observation a few years back that there was coming economic recession. Attending a production of Checkov’s The Cherry Orchard, Ebarp saw parallels between turn of the century Russia and the contemporary US. Giant Days tells the story of a rural farm family and what happens to them when a global economy comes knocking on their door. The staged reading of Giant Days happens at 7:30 pm at the 10th Street Theatre
on June 20th.


Vanity Theatre Company
was founded by Ebarp and John Van Slyke, who had worked together previously with the late Cornerstone Theatre Company. The two decided to start a theatre company dedicated to producing their own writing. Actress Tiffany Vanlandingham is credited as co-producer for the fledgling company.

Also Peter J. Woods is doing a reading of his new work Pity at Courtney next Tuesday . . . won’t be able to make it to that. It’s a one man show that’s thoughtful and vaguely surreal. There’s a good chance that I’ll be seeing it later on . . .  Evidently Woods will be touring with Pity in the traveling Insurgent show featuring Rex Winsome’s Ulysses’ Crewmen,
which sounds like an interesting double feature. Hopefully Pity will be a part of the local performance of Crewmen on August 20/21st. . .

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