Sunday, May 8, 2011

David Ives and Tom Stoppard--With Kids

First Stage’s Young Company presents a program of shorts by Stoppard and Ives

By Russ Bickerstaff
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As much respect as I have for First Stage Children's Theatre, I gained even a little bit more when I found out that they were going to be staging shorts programs featuring the work of Tom Stoppard and David Ives. Both playwrights are unflinchingly cool modern voices that just might rank as some of the better playwrights of the past fifty years. The Stoppard short in question is his Fifteen Minute Hamlet a clever precursot to the Reduced Shakespeare Company--work that predated it be a good half a decade, Stoppard's work distills the tragedy into a concise short entirely drawn from the original work. More a work of genius editing than anything . . .

The Ives is work drawn from All In The Timing. I saw the program of shorts at the Sunset Playhouse years ago and there are a number of shorts here that would work really well ith young actors including Words, Words, Words in which a group of primates work on a script for Hamlet, and The Universal Language, which features a pair of actors speaking in Ives' brilliantly comic invented language of Unamunda.

Precisely which Ives shorts they'll be using wasn't in the press release, but this looks like a fun show . . . Todd Denning Directs.

An Evening of Young Company Shorts runs May 6th and 7th at 7pm with an additional matinee on the 7th at 3:30pm. All performances take place at the Milaukee Youth Arts Center on 325 West Walnut Street.

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