FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Fox Valley entity announces a season of plays for the first time

Critic At Large

Vintage Theatre

Company logo.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Vintage Theatre is announcing a season consisting of two plays.

Such an announcement is a first for the independent entity guided by Michael J. Laskowski, a longtime director and performer in the Green Bay and Oshkosh areas and points between and beyond.

The productions:

+ “Marvin’s Room” by Scott McPhearson, directed by Michael J. Laskowski: 7 p.m. March 3-5 at First English Lutheran Church, 1013 Minnesota St., Oshkosh. Info: vintagetheatre.net.

A family is thrown into a whirlwind of uncertainty when Bessie, who has been a caretaker for her father all her adult life, is diagnosed with cancer; her best possible survival is a bone marrow transplant. Bessie reaches out to her estranged sister, Lee, who comes to stay with her and brings her two sons. Through their stay, old wounds are opened, and the two sisters try to find common ground. Through heartbreaking moments and comical interactions, the sister find no bond is stronger than family.

Audience members will have the opportunity to purchase an extra ticket in honor or in memory of someone who has died or has won their battle with leukemia/cancer. At the end of the run, the money from those extra tickets will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
+ “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, directed by Christy Dubey: 7 p.m. September 15-17 at First English Lutheran Church, 1013 Minnesota St., Oshkosh. Info: vintagetheatre.net.

Magic and mayhem abound when two sets of lovers and a ragtag team of actors escape into the Forest of Athens. Like many of Shakespeare’s best comedies, the play includes mistaken identities, slapstick physicality and, of course, a happy ending.

Laskowski says the selections are in keeping with the company’s philosophy:

“Every show that we choose, we make sure it embodies our 3 ‘E’ philosophy – that theater is meant to enlighten, educate and entertain. 

“We chose ‘Marvin’s Room’ because of the outreach opportunity we are able to do with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the fact that this play presents a very serious subject in a very funny way. And that’s certainly not always an easy accomplishment.

“We chose ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ because of its mass appeal and to show that Shakespeare is meant for everyone, not just professional grade theater groups.

“We only do two shows per season, and one of the things we do to set ourselves apart from other theatre companies is we pride ourselves on offering variety to our audiences. Like we will do one classical and one contemporary, or a comedy and a drama, or something unknown to Wisconsin audiences and then one mainstream. We never want to be the competition with other theatre companies because art is built on collaboration, we simply want to be another option.”

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