Monday, Oct. 26, 2009

APT Announces 2010 Season

Outdoor Theatre In Spring Green on the Other Side of Winter

By Russ Bickerstaff
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this is what I'll be thinking about when I'm shoveling snow in a few months or less.

Another cold winter lurks beyond characteristically damp October in southern Wisconsin.
It’s more or less at this time that the American Players Theatre has announced its season for next summer. The pleasant heat of the outdoor theatre is something to think about as things begin to get colder here.

Here’s a look ahead at what the APT will be doing next summer:

Up The Hill (outdoor theatre):

A Pair Of Shakespearian Comedies:

Rosalind finds romance in the forest of Arden in As You Like It. It’s a light comic piece that should be a lot of fun in a the wooded outdoor space at the top of the hill.

Also, the APT allows audiences an opportunity to see one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known, rarely-produced comedies, All’s Well That Ends Well.  It’s kind of a stretch to say the plot actually has something to do with the healthcare debate, but . . . Here we have Helena—a bright, attractive young woman who has learned medicine from her father. She has the opportunity to save the life of the King of France (who is suffering from an ulcer) and offers to do so in exchange for the opportunity to marry the Lord of her choice. (She’s harbored a secret love of for a guy named Bertram. It’s nice to know we’ve come such a long way from a time when people would use the ailments of others for personal gain . . .

A Familiar William Inge Dramatic Comedy:


The APT will also stage a production of the show currently running with the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre—William Inge’s Picnic. Taking place as it does between houses in residential America on Labor day in 1953, it’s a fun choice for a play that pairs older, more seasoned talents with what will hopefully be the new faces of the APT as it continues to grow.

A Shaw and a Maugham:

The other two non-Shakespeare outdoor shows include:

The Circle-- W. Somerset Maugham’s 1921 social satire about marriage and infidelity
And
Major Barbara—G. B. Shaw’s 1905 exploration on the nature of charity, religion, hypocrisy and moral ambiguity.

And In The Touchstone:


The APT has chosen three really, really good plays for its intimate indoor theatre this year including:

The Syringa Tree:


Colleen Madden reprises numerous roles in her jaw-dropppingly impressive performance of Pamela Gien’s South African apartheid drama. Madden had performed this same play in a very, very successful production here in Milwaukee some time ago.

Waiting For Godot:

The APT tackles Becket’s classic on a small stage. One of my favorites. This could be a lot of fun 

Exits and Entrances:

The APT tackles what just might be its newest ever play as it stages South African playwright Athol Fugard’s 2004 drama. Fugard intended this play to be done with two actors in a very small theatre. One act, two characters, 90 minutes. It’s an autobiographical piece about a young playwright and his relationship with a successful actor. Sounds kind of like a politically-conscious version of Mamet’s A Life In The Theatre.

 

The APT opens its season in June. Dates have yet to be announced. Gift certificates for 2010 are currently available.

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