Picasso at the Lapin Agile connects philosophy, science, love and art in new University Theatre production
Show opens November 7
The University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan invites Sheboygan area theater enthusiasts to enjoy a night of laughter, philosophy and fun as University Theatre presents its fall 2013 production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which takes the stage November 7-9, 2013, on the UW-Sheboygan campus.
The play, which is written by the legendary comedian and actor Steve Martin, promises audiences will be rolling in the aisles with laughter and, at the same time, reflecting on some intense philosophies about art, life and love.
The show, which opens Thursday, November 7, marks the debut of new University Theatre Director and UW-Sheboygan Assistant Professor of Communication/Theatre Arts Dr. Thomas Campbell. Campbell, who joined UW-Sheboygan in August replacing previous Director Simon Provan, comes to Sheboygan from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he completed his Ph.D. in Speech Communication/Theater in May 2013.
Campbell also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree with a Playwriting emphasis from Southern Illinois University and a BFA in Playwriting/Directing from the University of Wyoming.
According to Campbell, Picasso at the Lapin Agile was a great first show to introduce audiences to his production style and love of the arts. The show has been produced regularly off-Broadway and in 1996 won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play.
“This is a funny play. It’s a smart play. And it’s Steve Martin – the comic genius!” Campbell said enthusiastically. “He can weave together these philosophies about love, life and art to make people laugh as well as learn! They are going to walk away laughing and excited about what they have learned.”
The play takes place in a Paris bar in 1904 as the bartender has conversations with Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and others, while debating art, science, life and love and their intersections. Although the topics may seem disconnected, Martin is able to connect absurd, divergent issues such as Pablo Picasso’s artworks and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity into one cohesive, hilarious production.
“This is a smart, engaging show. The ideas in it are entertaining and compelling, and it’s a show that thrives from the audience’s presence,” Campbell explained. “Experiencing this world that Steve Martin has created is a real treat, and our cast is just plain funny! At the end you will be going, ‘Why didn’t I see how those were connected before?’”
Members of the Picasso cast include UW-Sheboygan students and community residents, whose backgrounds are as diverse as they are. Some cast members have extensive acting experience in major community productions, while others are making their stage debut for the first time.
“This cast is fantastic. We have a wide range of experience levels, which, for me, is great. I really would like to work with each of these people again. They are really a great group,” Campbell said.
“I’ve been doing theatre for a long time now, and I have a lot of experiences to draw from, and one of the most consistent experiences I have come across is to respect the intellect of your audience,” he said. “I want theatre I produce to be challenging for me, for others involved and for audiences. I want all participants to leave University Theatre productions with big smiles on their faces.”
Picasso at the Lapin Agile will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. November 7, 8 and 9 and also at 2 p.m. on November 9 for a special Saturday afternoon matinee. A panel discussion about the play and its philosophies will be offered on Saturday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. prior to start of Saturday’s performance ONLY. Audiences should be aware that this play contains some adult content.
Tickets are $10 for the general public, $5 for area students and senior citizens, and free to all UW-Sheboygan students with current ID. Advance tickets are available by calling the UW-Sheboygan Box Office at (920) 459-6652 or stop in the UW-Sheboygan Business Services Office Monday-Friday during normal business hours. Tickets are also available for purchase one hour prior to show time at each performance.
All performances are held in the Fine Arts Theatre, located inside the Fine Arts Building on the UW-Sheboygan campus, located at One University Drive, Sheboygan.
For more information about UW-Sheboygan or University Theatre, please visit www.sheboygan.uwc.edu.
Picasso at the Lapin Agile Cast and Crew
David Lee, Sheboygan “Freddy”
Jonathan Block, Sheboygan Falls “Gaston”
Carrie Johns, Sheboygan “Germaine”
Lacey Meyer, Fond du Lac “Albert Einstein”
Rachel Miley, Sheboygan Falls “Suzanne”
Tou Yia Xiong, Sheboygan “Sagot”
Dan Burkey, Sheboygan “Pablo Picasso”
Joe Larson, Parnell “Charles Dabernow Schmendiman”
Vichai Chang, Sheboygan “A Visitor”
Jordyne Runkel, Cedar Grove Stage Manager
Dr. Thomas Campbell Director