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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WSU's Production "Under Construction" Selected for Region VIII American College Theatre Festival Competition (Fundraising performances on Jan 14 - 15)

Under Construction: Still Building
Who: Weber State University Department of Performing Arts
What: Under Construction: fund raising performances for
American College Theatre Festival Competition
When: January 14 and 15, 7:30 pm • January 15, 2:00 pm
Where: Allred Theater, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $10 for all seats; no comp tickets available for these performances
Dee Events Center Tickets: 1-800-WSU-TIKS or weberstatetickets.com

Weber State University Department of Performing Arts’s fall semester production of “Under Construction,” directed by Tracy Callahan, has been selected for Region VIII American College Theatre Festival competition. Four performances of the play will be presented to raise fund necessary to take the production to the Los Angeles Theatre Center, February 8-12. Those performance will be in the Eccles Theater at 7:30 pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, January 13-15 and a 2:00 pm matinee on Saturday, January 15. Seating is limited in the Eccles theatre so it is advised to purchase tickets in advance. The November performances were sold out almost every night and we expect the same audience response for these performances.

“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 of 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 tcallahan@weber.edu. For more information about Jason Rhoades: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Rhoades

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