Staged reading of new play ‘Dreaming of Forests’ is Dec. 7

The theatre program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will present a staged reading of the new, issues-oriented comedy Dreaming of Forests at 3:30 p.m. Monday (Dec. 7) in the University Theatre, located in Theatre Hall on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive. Admission is free and open to the public.

Theatre Prof. Laura Riddle is directing the project with sophomore theatre major Matt Harris as assistant director. The cast of 12 readers is made up of members of the UW-Green Bay student body.

Riddle says the new play by Indiana playwright Doug Bedwell fits well with the year-long campus Common Theme, “Realizing our Sustainable Future,” which is coordinating lectures, performances and special events to focus on environmental issues. Bedwell will be on campus for Monday’s performance.

Dreaming of Forests tells the story of Charlie, an ad man with Amalgamated Marketing facing an ethical dilemma. His job requires him to create a campaign in support of Senator Bargul’s “rededication” of national forest land for a power plant. Meanwhile, Charlie’s artist friend, Mika, passionately campaigns against the legislation, and he is further swayed by a mysterious wood nymph who appears in his dreams.

Riddle says playwright Bedwell has created a sharp comedy about ethics, politics, the environment, and the transformational power of art. Bedwell’s plays have been produced on both coasts and by theatres in Indianapolis, Chicago, and other locations around the Midwest. Since 2002, he has worked closely with the Bloomington Playwrights Project in Bloomington, Ind., where he is currently an artist in residence.

Monday’s “staged reading” is being opened to campus and community as both an opportunity for audience members to enjoy the play but also to experience an educational look at the development of a new work. In general, an “initial reading,” Riddle explains, allows the playwright to hear the play read by actors and is generally followed by rewrites. A “staged reading” is rehearsed and includes some movement by actors but it is done with script in hand to allow the playwright to continue making changes. No set or props are used, and stage directions are read by an actor or stage manager.

Featured in Monday’s reading will be:
Celise is played by junior theatre major Alison Lynn Tyler
Sacro is played by sophomore theatre major Jade Landry
Essa is played by sophomore theatre major Marta Knodle
Charlie is played by junior theatre major Derek James Knabenbauer
Mika is played by junior theatre major Ray-Anna Ranae Young
Dolmen is played by senior theatre major Zach McLain
Debbie is played by freshman theatre and psychology major Heidi Free
Bargul is played by senior theatre major Derek Sklenar
Smith, Dennis, Brandon will be played by sophomore theatre major Ross Christian
Jones, Denise, Brenda will be played by senior musical theatre major Emily Paulson
Stage directions will be read by senior musical theatre major Megan Hedden and freshman English and philosophy major Luke Konkol.

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