By Erin Randolph firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though Nicole Schremp auditioned
for the Drake University production
of "Arts & Leisure,"
she really didn't see herself
as a good fit. Even after she
was called back for another audition
and eventually cast as Lenore,
a woman on the verge of a mental
and emotional breakdown, she didn't
see herself in it. Still, she
was up for the challenge.
And it's that challenge that
drew Michael Rothmayer, director
of the play and Drake assistant
professor of theater arts, to
the script in the first place.
"Arts & Leisure"
has very strong character parts,
is very topical and provides commentary
about society as a whole, he says.
"Arts & Leisure"
is a wickedly caustic play about
a drama critic, Alex Chaney, who
emotionally exhausts the people
in his life because he judges
the real world around him in the
same way he critiques plays. During
the course of "Arts &
Leisure," Chaney is confronted
by the bitter women he has alienated
over the years - his live-in maid,
his mother, his daughter and his
ex-wife (Schremp's Lenore).
But despite the dark, adult
theme of "Arts & Leisure,"
it's also a comedy.
"The comedy comes from really
listening to the words and is
not necessarily farcical,"
Schremp says. "Nobody's going
to trip on stage or anything like
that. It's very intellectual humor.
At some points, it's humor where
you're so nervous and uncomfortable
that you laugh because you don't
know what else to do."
The play is also unconventional
in that the playwright, Steve
Tesich, screws with the typical
conventions of theater, Rothmayer
says. Characters break the fourth
wall on occasion and talk to the
audience. Then they will proceed
to make fun of the fact that they've
broken the fourth wall and talked
to the audience.
"It's very different from
anything I've ever done,"
Schremp says. "It's very
different from what a lot of people
have seen because it's very intellectually
deep and psychological just with
the way that the characters talk
to each other and the way we interact
with each other. It's not your
The scheduled production of "Doctor
Dolittle" will not be presented
as planned. The national tour
of the play closed on Oct. 2.
Though the show may be rebooked
at a later date, the Civic Center
is contemplating adding another
production to its Broadway season.
The Civic Center will communicate
directly with season ticket holders,
and those who purchased tickets
through Ticketmaster are asked
to keep their tickets until future
plans are finalized... StageWest
opens its 2005-2006 theater season
Oct. 14 with the wide-reaching
epic "Angels in America Part
1: The Millennium Approaches"
at the Stoner Studio Theater in
the Civic Center. The play continues
weekends through Oct. 29. Tickets
are available through Ticketmaster,
the Civic Center box office or
by calling 246-2320... Comedian
Lily Tomlin will perform at the
Civic Center on Thursday, Oct.
13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available
through Ticketmaster, the Civic
Center box office or by calling
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