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Ray Schultz, as seen in Performance Network's production of "Take Me Out," for which he earned a 2006 Wilde Award.
Posted: Oct. 10, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
ANN ARBOR – Performance Network Theatre is proud to present the one-man show about the life and letters of Tennessee Williams, "Blanche & Beyond" by Steve Lawson, on Sunday, Oct. 14 and Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.
Adapted from letters written by Tennessee Williams to his friends and family, "Blanche & Beyond" is a one-man-show starring Ray Schultz ("Burn This," "Take Me Out") as Williams in this personal exploration of arguably the greatest American playwright. Performance Network Theatre is proud to present this special event in addition to the season opener, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, running through Oct. 28.
Schultz is an associate professor in the theater department at University of Minnesota Morris, located in a remote and rural community of less than 5,000 people - and the nearest Equity theater as far as three hours away. Schultz began to research one-man shows – particularly shows in which he could portray Tennessee Williams - to continue acting as an Equity actor and harvesting deep knowledge in the theater arts.
It was during his research that Schultz discovered Lawson's work. The playwright wrote two different one-man shows - both adaptations of the letters written by Williams. Schultz hoped to perform "Blanche & Beyond" in the Detroit area as he workshopped and researched the show virtually all on his own. "I just immersed myself in Tennessee Williams," said Schultz.
He presented the piece to David Wolber, Performance Network's artistic director, and Logan Ricket, company manager, in the early workshop stages to receive feedback. When Schultz was informed Performance Network was opening the 2012-13 Great American Theatre Season with Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," he thought it would be a perfect opportunity to perform "Blanche & Beyond" as a companion piece, and offered to do it with all of the proceeds benefiting the theater.
Tickets ($32-$34) can be ordered at the Performance Network Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at www.performancenetwork.org or at Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or one hour before a performance.