Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

Mother Courage In March

OFF THE WALL THEATRE announces the central cast of its production of Brecht’s Masterpiece.

By Russ Bickerstaff
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There’s really no standard schedule for promoting a theatre show in Milwaukee. Seasons get announced at various times by various theatre companies. Shows from smaller companies have been known to pop-up at the last minute. Sometimes it gets confusing. A couple of days ago I got a press release for Off The Wall Theatre’s March show. They haven’t opened their December show yet and I’m already getting a press release for March—okay, so it’s a little early, but this is one that I’m looking forward to . . . Brecht’s classic Mother Courage and Her Children.

The press release announced three of the central cast members of the show—a quick glance back at the script and I’m already hearing the voices of the actors in those roles  . . .

“They call me mother courage ‘cause I was afraid I’d be ruined.” 

--Mother Courage

Marilyn White as Mother Courage—“The role I hard to play and is always being miscast,”—so said translater Eric Bentley in 1965. It’s a situation unlikely to have changed much since then as the role is bewilderingly dichotomous. At once courageous and cowardly, the character is loving and spiteful, beautiful and ugly and so on . . . Marilyn White has a sinewy strength about her onstage that could work quite well in the role. Her extensive experience on the stage of the Off The Wall Theatre will doubtlessly give the performance a very world-weary confidence to her performance. It’s not an easy role to take. White has several months to figure out the exact emotional calculus to bring to the stage in one of the most challenging roles of the mid-20th century.

“—“  

--Kattrin—Mother Courage’s Mute Daughter

Liz Mistele as Kattrin—Captivatingly talented Liz Mistele will be challenged to once again go into sort of a Brigitte Helm, silent-film-style performance as the mute daughter of the title character. Mistele has shown an uncanny ability to draw attention and develop mood without saying a word. Here she will be helping to render the unique atmosphere of a culture living in the midst of a 1940’s battlefield.

“I was so scared I almost broke out in prayer.”

--Chaplain

David Flores as a Chaplain—not the first time Flores has played a man of the cloth. The uneasiness of a man of god at war should be interesting rendered for the stage by Flores. Flores played emotional turmoil in the midst of war with notable depth in Off The Wall’s Richard III back in ’05. It’ll be refreshing to see him return to the Off The Wall battlefield next March.

Off The Wall Theatre’s production of Mother Courage and Her Children runs March 24th – April 3rd.

 

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