Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009

Milwaukee Multicultural Theatre

A New Theatre Group With A Purpose

By Russ Bickerstaff
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It’s always impressed me just how fully engaged people are in the local theatre—especially on the less-professional ends of things. I’ve seen actors help strike sets. I’ve seen them help with box office. I’ve seen actors do tech and tech people act. The show is everything and people are willing to go to whatever level necessary to help make things happen. There’s a lot of interdisciplinary activity going on. The theatre is its own organism and the individuals that it consists of are relatively interchangeable. Every now and then I get a little glimpse of the versatility of individuals in action. Last night I was talking to a friend—a guy named Eric at Poet’s Monday. He’d mentioned to me that he was a part of the debut production of the Milwaukee Multicultural Theatre.

(The aim of the MMT is to use theatre to unite the various disparate cultures the city. Really ambitious, but very, very important. If the abstract organism of theatre can be persuaded to be pointed in any specific direction in this town, unity is probably the single most important place for it to face. So many of the other problems in the city stem from the disjointed nature of the culture.)

Eric had agreed to volunteer his time to help out with MMT’s debut show—a debut program entitled M—A Collection of Mothers. One thing led to another and Eric ended up helping backstage. Things have gotten fairly sophisticated since then and now . . . Eric is playing an angel of death. It sounds like a silent role . . . no speaking part . . . but that’s the liquid nature of theatre on its simplest level . . . go in to usher and you end up an angel of death onstage. Weird.

The show in question is a series of monologues by a wide range of different mother characters. Each one tells a distinctly different story of motherhood. The cast includes Milwaukee poetry icon Dasha Kelly, Biba, Yvette Mitchell, Chastity Washington, Christopher Miller, Alyssa Ray Alden, Rhonda Nordstrom, and Virgillette Adams. 

M—A Collection of Mothers will be staged October 30th and 31st at 8pm with a 2pm matinee on the 1st of November. All performances take place at Kings Commons II on 2775 North MLK Drive.

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