UW-Green Bay Theatre to present comedy ‘Criminal Hearts’
An unlikely and comic bond between burglar and victim will take center stage beginning Feb. 23, when UW-Green Bay Theatre presents “Criminal Hearts,” a work by the mysterious playwright Jane Martin.
The production stars UW-Green Bay seniors — and offstage roommates — Shelbi Cox and Katie Sawyer as burglar Bo and victim Ata Windust. What starts as a standard crime evolves into an unexpected alliance.
“I think it’s a great play. I think it’s a really wonderful play about friendship,” said UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. John Mariano, the show’s director. “It’s a play about the unlikeliest friendship you can imagine, between a very well-to-do upper class young woman, who’s recently been left by her husband, and another woman who breaks in to burgle her apartment. And there’s nothing left there to steal because he’s taken everything — and they become friends.”
The character-driven tale has a cast of just five, unusually small for a UW-Green Bay Theatre play. But with the April production of “Cabaret” placing demands on Theatre and music alike, the timing is right, Mariano said. Cast and director alike have enjoyed working on the production from Martin, whose true identity has been widely speculated upon but remains unknown.
“Criminal Hearts” is a comedy at its core, but there are plenty of dramatic moments, said Sawyer, who plays the character Ata. It’s one of the things she likes best about this production, her last show at UW-Green Bay.
“I love playing Ata because it’s so different from anything I’ve ever played before,” said UW-Green Bay senior Katie Sawyer. “You can go from crying to screaming to being excited to pointing a gun — to all these different emotions in one scene. And that just doesn’t happen in a lot of shows. So it’s kind of fun to step outside the box and try something different with her.”
The show has a broad appeal, but audiences are cautioned about strong language throughout the play, Mariano said. Productions of “Criminal Hearts” are slated for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-25 and 29, and March 1-3 in the Jean Weidner Theatre at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door for adults, and $12 in advance and $15 at the door for students and seniors. Order online or by calling (920) 465-2400 or (800) 328-tkts.
“Criminal Hearts” cast, crew:
Katie Sawyer (Ata), senior, Communication;
Shelbi Cox (Bo), senior, Musical Theatre and Arts Management;
Joe Feltz (Robbie), senior, Business;
Derek James Knabenbauer (Wib), senior, Theatre Performance;
Kelly Peerenboom (Mrs. Carnahan), senior, Human Development;
Chad Bishop (stage manager), junior, Theatre Technical/Design and Philosophy