UW-Green Bay Theatre is preparing to present bobrauschenbergamerica, a play described as fantastical road trip through the American landscape — one written as famed artist Robert Rauschenberg might conceive it. The show runs Oct. 18-20 and 24-27 in the Jean Weidner Center at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.
This fast-paced comic romp, UW-Green Bay Theatre’s first play of the 2012-13 season, foregoes a linear narrative in favor of a collection of 40-plus unrelated scenes that take audiences through the second half of the 20th century. The work by Charles L. Mee is wide-ranging and a lot of fun, said show director and UW-Green Bay Prof. Laura Riddle.
“Rauschenberg was known for making what he called combines,” she said, “and those were put together out of found objects, and sometimes painted on top of prints on top of that. So the play is considered a theatrical combine.”
For bobrauschenbergamerica’s actors, the style of the performance is at once enjoyable and challenging.
“I love the collage aspect,” said UW-Green Bay senior Wendy Huber, “that crazy stuff happens and we’re focusing on one thing, and all the sudden we jump to something completely different. It’s a fun roller coaster.”
That roller coaster includes images and sensations featuring Rauschenberg’s childhood home, a human martini, a pizza delivery boy and more than a few chicken jokes. It also ties into the 2012-13 UW-Green Bay campus Common Theme of Creativity, Innovation and Vision, Riddle said. The campus Common Theme is a yearlong program designed to engage the campus and larger community in the ideals of a liberal arts education and the UW-Green Bay interdisciplinary mission.
“It’s such a unique style of theatre, and that makes it both interesting and very, very challenging because it’s not the way we’re used to working,” Riddle said. “We have to be open to improvisation and just approach it one day at a time.”
Performances of bobrauschenbergamerica will be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26 and 27 in the Jean Weidner Center at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on the UW-Green Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door for adults, $12 in advance and $15 at the door for students and seniors, and $10 for UW-Green Bay students. Order online at www.uwgb.edu/tickets or by calling (920) 465-2400 or (800)328-tkts.
A video on the UW-Green Bay production of bobrauschenbergamerica is available, click here.
Tamar Brooks (Bob’s Mom); Andy Delaurelle (Allen); Taylor Hoeft (Chicken); Wendy A. Huber (Roller Girl); Conrad Kamschulte (Wilson); Derek James Knabenbauer (Becker); Abigail Lee (Annie); Tyler Miles (Carl); Cherran Dea Rasmovicz (Susan); Randall J. Tranowski (Bob); Cody Von Ruden (Phil); Ashley Wisneski (Phil’s Girl).