This coming weekend finds screens from local stages filled with an infamous 15th century Romanian ruler, a teenaged girl who is a 20th level paladin, a bugbear, Tiamat and a gelatinous cube. Beyond that there are others shows at month’s end and beyond. Here’s a look:
I love the authenticity of teenagers playing teenagers. It’s really difficult for an adult actor to get the specific nuances of teendom into a performance. This coming weekend Homestead High School presents an online production of a show about a girl in high school that’s being streamed live on Facebook. What’s even cooler: the show in question is She Kills Monsters. An adult woman wants to know more about a distant sister who passed away in a car crash in high school. She falls into an adventure module her sister had written for Dungeons and Dragons when she was 15 and begins to learn about her through the fantasy of the role-playing game.
Homestead High School’s She Kills Monsters runs October 23, 24 and 25. Shows start at 7pm. For more information, visit the show’s Facebook page.
Voices Found Repertory opens its premier virtual production of Pharyne Gremore’s They Call Me Dracula this coming weekend. VFR has released a bit more information about the show since it was initially announced. It’s actually not an adaptation of any permutation of Bram Stoker’s classic. Rather than focus on what Anne Rice referred to as “the vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman," Gremore’s script tells the tale of the very real historical figure Stoker used for inspiration: Vlad Tepes...also known as Vlad the Impaler. The really cool thing about this production? Vlad is played Maggie Marks. Marks is a very, very cool actress. (She’s done some notable work around the edges of an ensemble or two with Bard & Bourbon in recent memory.) Here she has a chance to do it as the impaler onscreen.
They Call Me Dracula runs October 23, 24 and 31 on Twitch. For more information, visit the show’s Facebook Page.
WoLF Studios MKE hosts its monthly mix of dance and spoken word live and online near month’s end as it presented ReVibe: A Movement Experience. It’s designed to give a platform for black, indigenous and other people of color the blends a mix of curated and open call artists. It’s also one of the first locally-grown events to be featured simultaneously live and online.
The next performance takes place Saturday, October 24 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Live and in-person, the show is $10 at Nō Studios on 1037 W McKinley Avenue. The show is also being streamed online for $5. For more information, visit the show’s Facebook events page.
Boozy Bard presents its second and final Macbeth Raw(ish) near month’s end. Roles are chosen at random and read by actors on Facebook Live. One never knows quite what to expect with a Boozy Bard production. The show takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 28th. Boozy Bard’s Jeremy Eineichner will open the show with his characteristic warmth and wit at 7:00 pm. For more information, visit the show’s Facebook page.
Terrifying Tales for All Hallow's Eve
Video in the Age of COVID meets Halloween as a group of talented local performers gather around the glow of the internet for an evening of stories. Mandi Veeder, Sammi Ditloff, Kelsey Lexow, Nicole Allee, and Andrea Roedel-Schroeder tell stories in a pair of online videos which go live on October 31st at 8:00 pm. For more information, visit the show’s Facebook page.
First Stage continues its online offerings for kids this coming month with a one-woman show written by playwright Eric Coble. The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus (In Your Home) School is out. Sheila and her friends head off to an adventure in the desert accompanied by a well-dressed wolf. It’s a big adventure with a large cast in a world of magical realism. It’s going to be a big challenge for any actress. Who better the tackle a challenge like this than First Stage’s Karen Estrada? Estrada has a pleasantly intense energy about her that craftily draws attention in a wide range of different moods. The promo video for the show has Estrada relating it from a lovingly cluttered craft table. This is exceedingly clever staging. Some of the most successful YouTube fare for kids involved craft-based vloggers working on projects. A brilliant actress mixes crafts with story for kids ages 7-15+.
The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus (In Your Home) runs Nov. 2 -22. For more information, visit First Stage Online.
Next Act Theatre opens its doors to live audiences this coming November with the Wisconsin premiere of Lucas Hnath’s The Christians. Director Ed Morgan helms a cast of five including Next Act’s David Cecsarini. Questions of U.S. Christianity are explored in the setting of a megachurch. A pastor begins to wonder if there might not be some merit in having a more inclusive church. It’s a premise that might have been a bit more radical if it had been debuted in an era prior to a progressive pope like Francis, but the story maintains resonance in a nation that still fosters sinister, Christian millionaire mega-faces like Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen.
Next Act’s production of The Christians runs Nov. 23 - Dec. 13. For more information, visit Next Act online.