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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Extra! Realism a dynamic plus in Northeastern Wisconsin theater

Critic At Large

Five powerful productions

Scene from Evergreen Productions’ “The Diary of Anne Frank.” (Evergreen Productions)


Northeastern Wisconsin includes many examples of dynamic theater.

Some plays performed by local actors are especially realistic.

Enlightenment becomes intense at plays with a you-are-there feel.

Here is an overview of five powerful productions from this year.

The play version of “The Diary of Anne Frank” was brought to life in May by Evergreen Productions of greater Green Bay.

A teenage girl with hopes and dreams tells of her family’s life living in secrecy.

Only by chance to we know her fate in a concentration camp.

My review:

Sheboygan Theatre Company Studio Players in April presented the in-your-face “columbinus.”

Represented are the young people who died at Columbine High School, and their two misfit murderers.

My review:

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Theatre in October visited the aftermath of a slave revolt in 1831.

The audience is take to a jail cell on the night before a hanging.

In “Nat Turner in Jerusalem,” playwright Nathan Alan Davis lets Nat Turner state his case for the taking of 60 lives.

My review:

The Forst Inn Arts Collective in Tisch Mills in October explored the story of a couple torn by the loss of their 4-year-old son.

You are in the couple’s home, and just outside is where the boy was struck by a car.

The cast for “Rabbit Hole” seemed to be drawing from personal losses.

My review:

Also in October, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance delved the trials of a single mother in her devotion to her seriously disabled 2-year-old son.

The play “Mary Jane” represents countless parents taking one day at a time, one more test at a time.

The student cast members were as devoted to their characters and the play as the mother is to her child.

My review:

Tough as the topics are, realistic theater brings awareness of myriad perspectives and of how brave and able many area actors are.

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