Theatre audiences will have the chance this summer to see two shows at Lindenwood University that offer a glimpse at theatre from a wide variety of time periods and styles during two weekends in July. The shows, "Culture Shock Classics" and "A Company of Wayward Saints" will be performed July 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23.
The plays will be performed on alternating days. "Culture Shock Classics" will be performed on July 14 (7:30 p.m.), July 16 (2 p.m.) and July 22 (7:30 p.m.), and "A Company of Wayward Saints" will be performed on July 15 (7:30 p.m.), July 21 (7:30 p.m.) and July 23 (2 p.m.). All performances will be in Jelkyl Theatre in Roemer Hall on the main Lindenwood campus. The two productions share a common set for the most part.
"Culture Shock Classics" consists of a compilation of scenes assembled by directors Bryan Reeder (theatre program director) and Marsha Parker (dean of fine and performing arts), of the Lindenwood faculty. Reeder said the specific focus of the scenes is "love through the ages"; they will be accompanied by narrative transitions in between.
"We're going to be exploring aspects of love through the presentation of scenes and monologues from notable plays from the Greeks through the late 1800s," Reeder said.
Included will be scenes from ancient Greek plays, including Euripedes' "Medea," Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and "Romeo and Juliet," "The Rover," from the Restoration era, and "Phaedra" and "The Cide," from the Neo-Classic era, to name a few.
"It's going to be quite a thrill for audiences to see so many great scenes in one evening," Reeder said. "Including the balcony scene in "Romeo and Juliet," performed in a way I doubt anyone has ever seen before."
Reeder said the title of the production is derived from the wide variety of cultures, time periods and theatrical styles that will come into play during the performance.
The theatre program is also working on a production of "A Company of Wayward Saints," which was written by George Herman and is directed by Rob Scoggins of the Lindenwood faculty.
"The play is about a travelling group of actors performing in our theatre," Reeder said. "The setting is wherever it is being performed."
The group has no money and is down on its luck and there is a duke in the audience, which the audience never sees, who offers to give them money to get home if they can successfully enact the subject of "the history of man."
In act one, with a very funny result, the players attempt to play the subject, enacting the stories of Adam and Eve, Odysseus and the assassination of Julius Caesar. In act two, they decide their approach has been wrong, and they should perform he history of a man.
"They do that in very poignant scenes dealing with birth, adolescence, marriage and death," Reeder said.
"We cast "A Company of Wayward Saints" first, then case the scenes in "Culture Shock Classics" from that," Reeder said. "What we're hoping to accomplish with this approach is to give the actors and our audiences exposure to various time periods and styles in theatre. Both productions contain high drama and physical and verbal comedy. This is an invaluable experience for our actors, which the audience should enjoy as well."