AMERICA: UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Who: Weber State University Department of Performing Arts
What: Under Construction by Charles Mees, directed by Tracy Callahan
When: October 22, 23, 26, 27 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 • 2:00 matinee with ASL, Oct 30
Where: Eccles Theater, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $10/$7, Dee Events Center tickets: 1-800-WSU-TIKS
Weber State University Department of Performing Arts presents “Under Construction” by Charles Mees, directed by Tracy Callahan, October 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 at 7:30 pm with a 2 pm matinee on Saturday, October 30. The play contains adult themes and language. It is not recommended for young children.
“Under Construction” is playwright Charles Mee’s third in a series of four plays inspired by American artists. While Norman Rockwell and installation artist Jason Rhoades do not appear as characters in “Under Construction,” their influences on the play are omnipresent. The play form and style reflects Rockwell’s idealist view of America contrasted with Rhoades’ chaotic, absurdist view. “Under Construction” presents the idea that American society is in a constant process if changing, inventing and restructuring itself.
The play itself is under construction. The playwright provides a script of various scenes of American life but invites the director/cast to add their own material. He also indicates that some of his own scenes can be deleted. Consequently, every production of this play gets “re-constructed” by the company presenting the play.
Director Callahan states, “When people ask me what Under Construction is “about” I tend to at first give a fairly bewildered look then do my best to form the words to describe a piece of theatre that is anything but formulaic. It is full of song, (blues and barbershop quartets) dance (disco, tap and tango), and monologues from such iconic characters as Bukowski, Cage and Burroughs.“
Rockwell (1894-1978) is famous as the artist of American early- to mid-20th century nostalgia: the family around the table at Thanksgiving; the young girl in pigtails contemplating herself in the mirror; and hundreds of other “illustrations” of America without flaws.
Rhoades(1965-2006) became famous for filling up exhibition space with “stuff;” assemblages of artifacts, chairs, cardboard, and other discards of contemporary society all crammed together; or hanging hundreds of neon lights, signs and electrical cords from aluminum tube scaffolding. He confronted taboos and pushed the boundaries of the acceptable.
Scenic Designer Jaime Frank, WSU theatre major, has the challenge of creating a space that allows for traditional scenes, while capturing the “installation experience” of Rhoades art and providing enough room for the actors.
Costume Designer Sean Bishop, also a WSU theatre major, is also challenged to provide costumes for an ensemble with actors playing many roles.
For more information about this production, contact Tracy Callahan, 801 626 7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Jason Rhoades: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Rhoades