Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) presents the classic romantic comedy BUS STOP by William Inge, April 12-29, 2012. The production will be a collaborative venture with the University of Wisconsin – Parkside (UWP) theatre department with at least 25 students and faculty serving as actors, designers and production personnel. BUS STOP performs in the Broadway Theatre Center's Cabot Theatre in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.
In the middle of a howling blizzard, four passengers become stranded overnight in a small-town diner 40 miles west of Kansas City. At the center of the storm is Bo, a rambunctious young rodeo rider, who comes crashing in like a headstrong bull with Cherie, the nightclub chanteuse he's kidnapped and is planning to wed. Full of Inge's trademark insight into ordinary people in sexually charged circumstances, this uproarious comedy from 1955 still stands the test of time.
UW-Parkside theatre professor Lisa Kornetsky directs a cast of eight including both professional actors and theatre students. The established actors include MCT Education Director/Literary Manager Jacque Troy (DUET FOR ONE, RABBIT HOLE), Dan Katula (MOON OVER THE BREWERY, KIMBERLY AKIMBO) and making their MCT debuts Doug Jarecki, Patrick Lawlor, and UWP theatre professor Jamie Cheatham. UWP theatre majors Ethan Hall, Brenna Kempf and Anne Walaszek also make their MCT debuts in this collaborative production.
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and UW-Parkside Theatre have joined forces for this multi-faceted collaboration which is a great example of MCT's commitment to help develop and support young artists. Working alongside their instructors in a professional theatre environment will create a unique mentorship experience for the UWP theatre students. In addition to the three students appearing as onstage, eight students are serving as understudies, and seven theatre students are serving as various production personnel.
BUS STOP is the third production in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's University Collaboration Series. As a part of MCT's mission to nurture young artists, the theatre committed to producing a main stage show in partnership with a different local university for three consecutive seasons. Previous productions in the series were PICNIC in collaboration with UW-Milwaukee (Fall 2009) and THE LION IN WINTER in collaboration with Marquette University (Spring 2011).
Playwright William Inge brought small-town life in the Midwest to Broadway with four successive dramatic triumphs, COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA (1950), PICNIC (1953), BUS STOP (1955) and THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (1957). Unfortunately, with the exception of his 1961 Academy Award-winning screenplay for Splendor in the Grass, Inge's later writings never achieved the success of his early work.
A film adaptation of BUS STOP was released in 1956 directed by Joshua Logan and starring Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray, Arthur O'Connell and Betty Field.