Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Green Bay theater living up to its name in virtual realm

Critic At Large

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A professional theater company in Green Bay is living up to its name this weekend.

Play-by-Play Theatre puts on productions as schedules allow.

That sure is a familiar story in the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s sort of like the old joke in theater around the line, “Hey kids, let’s put on a show!”

The planning and rehearsing can sometimes feel that way with Play-by-Play Theatre.

Improvising regularly happens around leader Mary Ehlinger’s calendar as music director of the popular Fireside Theatre in Fort Atkinson in southern Wisconsin.

Shows for her very own Play-by-Play Theatre in her very own hometown of Green Bay have to fit around that work.

The coronavirus has made many, many things even more sketchy, and more interesting.

Play-by-Play Theatre’s summer saw a remarkable feat of invention.

The company put on an in-person and truly historical production of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Allouez.

Now Play-by-Play Theatre’s “One-Act Weekend” is letting local actors do their thing in the virtual realm in four plays.

Saturday’s lineup included the tongue-in-cheek “Words, Words, Words,” about three chimpanzees writing “Hamlet.”

The other play was “Last Two on Earth” by local humor writer, improv artists, actor and director Mike Eserkaln.

You can still catch today’s, Sunday, Nov. 22, lineup that includes the surprising “Identity Theft,” which finds Mary Ehlinger directing and acting.

The other play is “Sure Thing,” really clever unexpected romance that in this case has the character portrayed by a husband and wife. Sweet.

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