This musing started out as a little reflection on the challenge of operating a performing arts venue deep in a rural area in an old building in a part of the country that embraces the four seasons with a vengeance. Then I realized that we hadn't done a "Meet The Cast" musings for The Shape of Things...so that is included as well. Kind of a two for one for your later winter amusement.
As far as the first notion goes, this is a bit of a follow-up on the mid-winter reflection that I posted back in January. At that moment, things were quiet here at The Forst and we were deep in the grip of winter's howl. Today, almost two months later, winter is loosening its grip, which is creating all kinds of new challenges that we're sharing with pretty much everyone else who lives in the upper-midwest. All that lovely white snow is now slowly re-creating the inland oceans of bygone epochs. Beware that you don't find yourself the victim of some unexpected fossil creating event!
Visitors to The Forst generally comment favorably on the history and charm of the old building and its construction. It is a neat and rare example of nineteenth and early-twentieth century hospitality. The enormous wooden beams and ubiquitous wood trim come from timber long since vanished from the forests. Along with that you also get a building lacking some of the nifty construction benefits of modern infrastructure. It can be a challenge.
I mention this because last night, as I was enjoying the final dress rehearsal of The Shape of Things, I was struck by how unimportant some of those inconveniences are. When we heat the place up, turn on the lights, set out the food and drink and fill the place with energetic patrons, a little water and ice suddenly doesn't seem so important.
So, if you were wondering what we are up to out here, be certain that there is music and theatre in abundance waiting for you to emerge from your winter hibernation, daring the raging waters of Spring to enjoy a bit of the arts again. (Although you might want to park across the street if the lake in front of the building hasn't receded!)
Meet The Cast of The Shape of Things
The Shape of Things opens tomorrow (Friday, March 15). This project is another example of one of those shows at The Forst that is happening because of a passion for art within the community. Actor Thomas Moore came to me some time ago looking to find a place to stage this show, and we were all too happy to oblige.
It's a fascinating script with some unexpected twists. Don't do too much research on the plot...it's more fun if you don't know what's coming. In this modern dramatic work, Neil LaBute asks a range of interesting questions: How far would you go for love? For art? What would you be willing to change? What price might you pay? A young student drifts into an ever-changing relationship with an art major while his best friends' engagement crumbles, so unleashing a drama that peels back the skin of two modern-day relationships. It's a great ride and we hope you find the time to come and see it!
Elizabeth Szyman (Evelyn) has performed and studied theatre and film in Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin. She is thrilled to be participating in “The Shape of Things.” This is Elizabeth’s third performance with the Forst Inn Arts Collective, other roles include playing Beth in “Dinner with Friends” and Molly in “Smell of the Kill.” Previous local highlights include Rachel Ann in “Exit Laughing,” Daisy Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby” and Sarah in “Company.” She is grateful to her family and friends for all their T.L.C. as well as the support and hard work of the cast and crew.
Thomas Moore (Adam) is very excited to finally make his physical appearance on stage at the Forst Inn. His previous credit would include voicing three male characters in "The Smell of The Kill". Other local credits would include Bobby in "Exit Laughing", Jay Gatsby in "The Great Gatsby", Robert in "Proof", CB in "Dog Sees God", Paul in "A Chrous Line", as well as many other Masquers productions throughout the years. After spending a few years studying theatre at UW-Parkside, he loves to help bring great theatre to the lakeshore. He'd like to thank friends and family for their support as well as Michael and The Forst Inn specifically for making this show a reality as it has been very close to his heart for a long time.
Katie Schroeder (Jenny) is thrilled to be back on the Forst Inn stage with some of her favorite people. Previous shows at the Forst Inn include “Dinner with Friends” (Karen) and “The Odd Couple (female version)” (Vera). She was most recently seen in Green Bay for Evergreen Theater’s “Sense & Sensibility” (Elinor Dashwood) and "It's a Wonderful Life" (Mary Hatch Bailey). When not playing with her theatre friends, she can be found slinging coffee, attending classes, or planning her next international adventure. She is honored to be included in a production that holds so much meaning to Thomas and Elizabeth. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Darrick Bruns (Phillip) is happy to be making his third appearance on stage at the Forst inn. He was last scene on stage as “Riff Raff” in the 2018 production of “The Rocky horror show” at UW Manitowoc. He last appearance on this stage was in the 2018 production of “Hello Again”. Darrick is a long-time performer in the Manitowoc area, appearing on stage over the years in productions with the Peter Quince performing company, Masquers, and UW Manitowoc.
A native of Manitowoc, Claran LaViolette (costumes) has been designing and collecting costumes since her college days. She has served as costume designer for Masquers, UW Manitowoc, KB Productions, St. John’s Players and Treehouse Theater. Though she feels that costuming is her forte, Claran has been on stage (favorite roles: “Grandma” in the Addams Family and “Abby Brewster” in Arsenic and Old Lace), in the director’s chair ( Suite Surrender, Miracle on South Division Street, The Savannah Sipping Society) and produced shows for Masquers and St. John’s Players. She is also the current president of The Masquers Inc.