Feb. 21, 2004 – Hot on the heels of its annual fund-raiser, Pistarckle Theater has both the continuing run of its current production of "The Nerd" and a series of three single-night play readings on the boards for the remainder of February and the first two weeks of March.
Performances of "The Nerd," which premiered for Saturday's fund raiser, continue on Feb. 27-28, March 4-6 and March 11-13 at the theater in Tillett Gardens.
The two-act comedy written by Larry Shue is about an architect whose nicely ordered life is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of an unexpected visitor who quickly wears out his welcome — but won't leave.
Willum Cubbert was seriously wounded in Vietnam and Rick Steadman saved his life. Other than that, the two have never met, but Cubbert, the architect, has written Steadman saying that for the rest of his life "you will have somebody on Earth who will do anything for you."
And at Cubbert's 34th birthday party in Terre Haute, Ind., Steadman shows up unannounced to put that pledge to the test. At first Cubbert is delighted, but Steadman turns out to be the houseguest from Hell — a nerd notably lacking in social sense, wisdom and tact.
Guest directing the production is Jonn Jorgensen, who also directed Pistarckle's mounting of "I Hate Hamlet" a year ago and of "Rumors" the season before that. A.J. Stone plays Willum and Trey Thomas is Rick. Others in the cast are Alex Emerich, Leigh Goldman, Jorgensen, Mo Stanton and Alison Steir.
Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door for general admission. For students, they're $10 individually and $5 apiece for groups of 10 or more. Ticket outlets are Nisky Pharmacy, Bumpa's on the Waterfront, The Draughting Shaft, Tillett Gallery, East End Secretarial Services, the American Yacht Harbor office and Marina Market.
Jorgensen also is organizing the three staged one-night readings, which he describes as "an opportunity for Pistarckle actors and audiences to look at and listen to some notable scripts from playwrights emerging into recognition during the same era that 'The Nerd' was first produced by the Milwaukee Rep." The Milwaukee Repertory Theater premiered the play in 1981 with author Shue playing the role of Willum.
The staged readings will all be on Tuesdays beginning at 8 p.m. According to Jorgensen, they are:
– "Eleemosynary," a play by Lee Blessing about three generations of strong-willed women, on Feb. 24. (The word, in case you're wondering, is an adjective meaning derived from or dependent on charity.)
– "Artichoke," by Joanna M. Glass, a portrait of marital strife in a Canadian farming family, on March 2.
– "Strange Snow," by Stephen Metcalfe, a drama of three people who have been impacted by the Vietnam war and of the redemptive power of hope, on March 9.
"All three readings will be of the complete scripts," Jorgensen says. "These are all plays with adult themes and language, especially 'Strange Snow.'"
The readings are being presented as a fund-raising effort in support of Pistarckle's 2004 Summer Theater Camp, Jorgensen said.
Tickets for the play readings will be sold only at the theater. They are $10 to attend each reading, but on the night of the first reading patrons will be able to purchase a $25 pass to attend all three.
To reserve tickets for "The Nerd" and any or all of the play readings, or to learn more, call the Pistarckle office at 775-7877.
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