|Sign up for our FREE weekly newsletter|
Buy an Ad
SPRINGFIELD - What A Do Theatre presents a Resident Company Showcase of "This Is Our Youth," a Drama Desk award nominee for Best Play by Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize nominee Kenneth Lonergan.
Performances of "This is Our Youth" are June 14-16. All shows begin at 8 p.m.
"This Is Our Youth" will be another first for What A Do Theatre. Members of What A Do Theatre's Resident Company (actors Tara Bouldrey, Justin Michael Dietzel and Joshua Olgine; and tech crew Brittany Slater, Cory Kalkowski and Madeleine Gibson) invite you to an inside look at the acting crafts growing diligently within the walls of What A Do. This two-act play will be directed and performed solely by company members, and will provide an opportunity for the community to see how we work at What A Do Theatre. This showcase will act as a precursor to a six-week acting workshop artistic director Randy Wolfe plans to introduce this fall.
"In starting the workshop series by showcasing our up and coming artists, we're establishing a precedent of professionalism that encompasses What A Do Theatre," Wolfe explained.
Why was this play chosen for the debut of the Resident Company Showcase? "The subject matter of this production is very important material for members of this generation," said Slater. "It sheds light on pressing issues that affect our youth today, issues generally ignored in popular media."
Combine the play's witty, comedic outbursts and emotional explosions with the six committed, passionate youth of the Resident Company, "This Is Our Youth" promises to keep audiences, young and old, at the edge of their seats.
Bouldrey put it quite simply, "The most compelling factor of this production is: This is our youth, in every sense of the phrase."
"We've set it up so even the process itself is youthful," added Olgine. "We're going at it guerilla tactic style: fast and hard."
Minimalistic is the key word for this production. Unlike a What A Do Theatre mainstage show, the cast and crew will be using only the most basic of technical elements. This production will display intimate acting in the rawest of forms. "We have our partners on stage, we have our lines, and we have our relationships with each other," Dietzel said. "The rest is an emotional roller coaster that both the audience and we will ride side-by-side, so buckle up!"
Set in 1982, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, "This Is Our Youth" follows, in meticulous, hilarious and agonizing detail, 48 hours in the life of three very lost souls in the big city at the dawn of the Reagan Era: Warren Straub (Dietzel), a dejected 19-year-old who steals $15,000 from his abusive lingerie-tycoon father; Dennis Ziegler (Olgine), the charismatic domineering drug-dealing friend who helps him put the money to good use; and Jessica Goldman (Bouldrey), the anxiously insightful young woman for whom Warren yearns. Funny, painful, and compassionate, "This Is Our Youth" is a living snapshot of the moment between adolescence and adulthood when many young people first go out into the world on their own, armed only with the ideas and techniques they developed as teenagers: ideas and techniques far more sophisticated than their parents ever realize and far less effectual than they themselves can possibly imagine.
Reservations can be made by calling the Box Office at 269-282-1953 or by visiting www.whatado.org. Donations will be accepted.
What A Do Theatre is located at 4071 West Dickman Road (corner of Dickman and Military, one block from the Springfield Farmers Market) in Springfield.