UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance will present Uncommon Women and Others, a play by Wendy Wasserstein, beginning Oct. 16 in the Jean Weidner Theatre at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. It is intended for mature audiences only.
In this video preview, cast and director share their thoughts and insights into the play as they prepare to perform.
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“The play starts six years after the girls graduate college and they are meeting up to kind of reflect on the last six years,” said senior Ashley Wisneski, who plays college housemother Mrs. Plum. “And then the very next scene is back to their senior year of college, where the majority of the play takes place with them talking about what they want their futures to be like, and what their expectations are as women in the 1970s. And then we return to the restaurant where we see them again, reflecting.”
The play’s director, Prof. Laura Riddle, welcomes the chance to direct a work by the playwright Wasserstein.
“At the time when it was written, in 1978, it was very cutting edge,” Riddle said. “It was an early feminist, second-wave feminist drama or comedy play about women’s experience at the beginning of the feminist movement back in ’72, really, ’71.
“So that’s something that I’ve been trying to help get the cast up to speed on is a little bit more of a sense of what the ’70s were like,” Riddle continued. “I am looking at this as a really wonderful experience to learn something from them, to learn what they think and how they perceive things now because it’s really important to me that this is a play that’s relevant to contemporary women.”
Acting in her first UW-Green Bay production, freshman Emily Ahrens said the cast has had to do plenty of research for Uncommon Women.
“It’s a very, very intensive experience studying for this play,” she said, “ — a lot of references that you had to look up and a lot of character analysis, and making sure you know every single portion of your character’s brain.”
For Wisneski, a senior, the play is easy to relate to.
“This is so relevant,” she said, “when I was reading this play and seeing what the women were considering because it’s all the same ideas. These are very relatable women and I think they’re even relatable today.”
Uncommon Women will have a broad audience appeal, Ahrens said.
“I do think college students would really enjoy this play,” she said, “because even though it takes place in the ‘70s it is about college students it is about women’s relationships during college. There’s definitely a lot you can take from it, whether you’re a college student or an adult.”
For tickets, visit www.uwgb.edu/tickets.