Audiences will be taken for an improbable, hilarious ride when UW-Green Bay Theatre stages its production of Unnecessary Farce beginning Nov. 11.
This second production of the 2011-12 Theatre season features the tale of two cops, three crooks and an amusing yet confusing sting operation set in connecting motel rooms. Written by Paul Slade Smith and directed by UW-Green Bay Theatre Prof. Laura Riddle, Unnecessary Farce is a fast-moving comedy designed to entertain.
“Good farce is very challenging. The actors do a lot of physical comedy, some stage combat — and dialect work is key to the plot,” Riddle said. “Our designers and technicians have had their hands full creating side-by-side motel rooms with a total of eight doors and some highly specialized costumes. We have really enjoyed rehearsals and are looking forward to sharing the fun with an audience. It is a very silly, very enjoyable show.”
The production’s UW-Green Bay cast includes seven junior and senior students who have a variety of theatre credits on campus and in the Green Bay and surrounding communities. Theatre enthusiasts might recognize actors from such UW-Green Bay productions as 12 Angry Jurors, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Little Shop of Horrors. Cast members Derek James Knabenbauer and Katie Sawyer, along with assistant stage manager Jonathan Buss, were part of the award-winning cast and crew of Almost, Maine, the production that highlighted UW-Green Bay Theatre’s most successful season to date in 2010-11.
Unnecessary Farce has an unexpected local tie, as playwright Smith began writing it in Appleton when he was a company member of the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera, according to the production’s official website, www.unnecessaryfarce.com. Members of the Phantom cast first read it aloud in a hotel room in Minneapolis, and several readings were staged before the production’s world premiere on Oct. 25, 2006. Unnecessary Farce is the second play from Smith, who in 2007 was named one of “50 to watch” (“writers of exceptional merit and promise”) by The Dramatist magazine.
The 2011-12 UW-Green Bay Theatre season kicked off in October with the production of the dark comedy Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl. The program will stage Criminal Hearts by Jane Martin in late February and early March before its season culminates with the popular musical Cabaret on the Weidner Center main stage in April.
Unnecessary Farce performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at the University Theatre in Theatre Hall 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 at www.uwgb.edu/tickets or by calling (920) 465-2400.
See a video feature of the UW-Green Bay production of Unnecessary Farce – click here.
Unnecessary Farce cast and crew:
Derek James Knabenbauer (Todd), senior, Theatre Performance; Ross Christian (Mayor Meekly), senior, Theatre Performance; Marta Knodle (Billie Dwyer), senior, Musical Theatre and Education; Matthew Harris (Agent Frank), senior, Theatre Performance; Andy Delaurelle (Eric Sheridan), junior, Theatre performance; Noel Fricke (Mary Meekly), senior, Musical Theatre; Katie Sawyer (Karen Brown), senior, Communications; Kyle R. Pingel (stage manager), senior, Technical Theatre and Design; Jonathan Buss (assistant stage manager), junior, Theatre; Wendy A. Huber (scenic and property designer), senior, Technical Theatre and Design