Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lady Elgin: RISING TIDE at Kohler Arts

Ed Morgan/John Kishline drama to be staged at Kohler Arts Center In Early July

By Russ Bickerstaff
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150 years ago, a colossal shipwreck profoundly affected the city of Milwaukee. Roughly 300 people died. It is said that 1,000 were orphaned by the sinking. Last September, on the 150th anniversary of the sinking, there was a staged reading of a well-written drama about life in Milwaukee just before the ship sank.

Ed Morgan and John Kishline’s Rising Tide: The Sinking of the Lady Elgin was featured at a reading in the Best Place Tavern last September. Several months later, a staging of the drama makes it to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Consisting of a series of monologues, Rising Tide does a surprisingly good job of modulating between simple drama and historical education. The monologues don’t quite come across the way they likely would have sounded in letters from 150 years ago, but neither are they thinly-veiled educational monologues about life in the 1860’s. Morgan and Kishline have done a really good job of mixing historical perspective with a larger story of the Lady Elgin in a way that doesn’t compromise characterization and the simple art of storytelling. This is a very compelling drama that just happens to play out in a series of alternating monologues.

Rising Tide: The Sinking of the Lady Elgin runs July 6th – 10th at the Kohler Arts Center. For reservations, call  (920) 458-6144 or visit the Kohler Arts Center online.

 


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