University Theatre at UW-Sheboygan is continuing the evocative season with a one-woman show called Collaborator by Egyptian playwright Yussef El Guindi. Collaborator continues University Theatre’s theme for their 2017-18 season, “The Power of Narrative”, as the production dives into one woman’s recounting of what it means to be an actress, a woman, and how both of those roles make her feel “like a piece of meat.” This one-woman play features Cass, portrayed by local actress Hilary Mayer. Cass invites us to “slide into her bed sheets" as she looks back and examines her past relationships with us. Through this first-person perspective, El Guindi is able to unlock a story that is complicated, nerve-wracking, insightful and culturally relevant. Miquelle Radich, theatre critic for DramaInTheHood, says, “COLLABORATOR is a must-see for every human being, as the questions it provokes are ones we should all consider. It's ceaseless fluctuation from hilarious to heart-wrenching moments is one you might be able to find in your own life." Performances for this production run January 31 through February 3.
Dr. Thomas Campbell, director of University Theatre, states that this show is particularly topical in light of recent events surrounding sexual assault and sexual harassment. According to Campbell, this show is being done in lieu of The Vagina Monologues, which has been produced in Sheboygan for the past four years. Campbell says, “The Vagina Monologues was revolutionary in 1996, but Collaborator is more connected with what’s happening right now. Collaborator premiered in 2017, so it’s not only more relevant to the current climate but it has a more sophisticated approach to sexual assault and sexual harassment that really illustrates how complicated and scary those issues are for women.” Campbell goes on to say, “We decided to produce this show last April, and we had no idea that this show would be as relevant to current events as it is. Movements like #metoo and #timesup, are illustrations that sexual assault and sexual harassment are pervasive in our culture, and we need to do something about it.”
Campbell goes on to say that while the show wrestles with heavy, serious material, the show itself is quite funny at times. He says, “The character in the play, Cass, uses a lot of humor to talk about her experiences. There is a lot of comedy that she employs and then turns it on a dime to make her humor work for what she’s trying to accomplish. She’s not accusatory and this show is certainly not a therapy session, but it does tackle a lot of universal issues,” adding, “this show is just as important for men to see as it is for women.” Campbell is also quick to note that Collaborator is not the definitive solution to these heavy issues, rather he hopes this production will be a conversation starter that will add important insights to incredibly scary issues.
Four performances of Collaborator are planned for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, January 31 through February 3 at 7:30 pm with talk-back sessions taking place after the Thursday and Friday night performances. All performances will be in the Fine Arts Theatre, located on the UW-Sheboygan campus at One University Drive in Sheboygan.
Tickets are available at the door and online at http://sheboygan.uwc.edu/campus/arts/theatre.
General admission tickets are $10 adults and $5 for seniors and non-UW Sheboygan students. UW-Sheboygan students are free (with student ID).
The box office opens at 6:30pm. Free parking is available. For more information, visit www.sheboygan.uwc.edu or phone 920-459-6677.