Everyman Rep opens 10th season with ‘Arturo Ui’

Oct 08, 2017
©David Troup David Troup plays the title character in “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.”

Rockland — The Everyman Repertory Theatre will present Bertolt Brecht’s “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” the first show in its 10th season, at the Bicknell Building, opening Oct. 27 and running Friday and Saturday nights through Nov. 11.

Described by Brecht as “a gangster play that would recall certain events familiar to us all,” “Arturo Ui” is a witty and savage satire on the rise of Hitler — recast by Brecht into a fictional, small-time Chicago gangster’s takeover of the city’s greengrocery trade in the 1930s. The satirical allegory combines Brecht’s Epic style of theater with black comedy and outright farce.

Brecht cleverly uses parodies of American gangster culture, from Al Capone through Jimmy Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. The play also pulls familiar references to Shakespeare and even Goethe’s “Faust.” Filtered through all these styles are the historical events surrounding the rise of the Nazi party in the 1930.

“It’s a remarkably prescient piece, with everything from show trials, political rallies, attacks on the press, corruption, graft,” said the show’s director, Paul Hodgson. “Thinking about the current state of democracy in America, it’s very valuable to look at the impact of totalitarianism and the rise of demagogues in Europe in the 1930s.”

The play will be produced at the Bicknell Building, a former manufacturing supply company in the docks area in Rockland, “which is the perfect setting for the raw energy, and outrageous parody and humor of the play,” said Hodgson.

Everyman is working with Natasha Mayers of ARRT! — the Artists’ Rapid Response Team — who has painted some striking images for the show which, unlike in Brecht’s time when they would have been processed across the stage as banners, will be projected onto a screen above the stage.

The play features a large cast including Lucinda Ziesing, Nicole Provonsil, David Greenham, David Troup, Annie Finnerty, Ryan Jackson, Andrea Itkin, Jennifer Hodgson, Scott Anthony Smith, Jim Reitz and Dagney Ernest. The show is stage managed by Karina Shorten, with lighting by Tom Sadowski and Debra Stokes, stage design by John Bielenberg and costume design by Tessa Kingsley.

“Arturo Ui” is supported by the Maine Holocaust and Human Rights Center, the Maine Arts Commission, the Davis Family Foundation, the Cricket Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation. Everyman Repertory Theatre, founded in 2008, is a registered 501(c)3, not-for-profit theater company committed to bringing live, professional theater to the people of Midcoast Maine.

Tickets are $20, $10 for students, available at Rock City Café and Grasshopper Shop in Rockland, Left Bank Books in Belfast and Zoot Coffee in Camden; by visiting everymanrep.org/box-office; or by calling 236-0173.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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