Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011

A Midwinter's Midsummer Nights From New York

Six Pirandello Characters wander around with Shakespeare's classic in February

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Someone recently asked me which shows I’ve seen more productions of than any other. The easy answer to that has got to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Y’know—the romantic comedy by William Shakespeare. I’ve seen that oh-so-weird collision of romance between fairies and Athenians in two different outdoor productions—one on a beautifully minimal set in Spring Green with the APT—another in a deep wooded area with Door Shakespeare in the another corner of the state along with numerous indoor productions including a particularly memorable one in the intimate confines of the Carte Blanche Studio Theatre.

With Puck, Oberon, Titania and company visiting local stages on a semi-annual basis, it’s not surprising that they would make a couple of appearances this winter. The coming weeks bring the fairies and Athenians to a couple of local stages.

The New York-based Aquila Theatre Company’s meandering manifestation of the comedy makes it to the stage of the Schauer Arts & Activities Center. Aquila breezes through some 60-70 American cities per year. It graces the stage of the Schauer Center with  production that starts at 7:30pm on Friday, February 18th. An actor from the company has a pre-show monologue about the company and the comedy that runs from 6:30pm – 7. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Schauer Center at 262-670-0560, ext. 3.

A couple of days prior to that, on the 16th, the Aquila performs the show at 7:30pm on the campus of UW-Whitewater. UW-W’s Young Auditorium plays host to the fairies and Athenians from New York one day before Aquila performs Pirandello’s Six Characters In Search Of An Author at UW-Whitewater. So—to recap in a more coherent fashion, Aquila swings through Whitewater on the 16th for Midsummer, then the 17th for Six Characters before sliding into Hartford for more Fairies and Athenians. Kind of a busy schedule, but that’s the life of a touring theatre company that isn’t part of some big, soulless touring Broadway musical machine. If you must see theatre from out of town, Aquila is a substantially hipper, more engaging experience than you’d get from touring Broadway. And it’s also substantially cheaper. But you will be driving a bit further for it. All shows start at 7:30pm.

UW-Whitewater’s two Aquila shows can be reserved in advance by calling 262-472-2222 or visiting the Young Auditorium online.





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