Our Country's Good
By Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by Kelley Duhatschek
Rebel Alliance Theatre presents
Our Country’s Good
by Timberlake Wertenbaker
July 30 and 31, August 1, 6, 7, 8, 13,14,15 7:00PM
“I would simply say that if you want to build a civilization, there are more important things than a play.” Obviously. Right?
This is just one of the questions posed by Timberlake Wertenbaker in her play Our Country’s Good, which received the Laurence Olivier/BBC Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play and which will be presented by Rebel Alliance Theatre July 30 –August 1 and August 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at their current performance space, 205 Adams St. in Omro (the only purple church in Omro ) at 7:00PM.
As Sara Freeman of Illinois Wesleyan University notes in the Literary Encyclopedia, Wertenbaker is noted for her “great skill with language and deft interaction with historical, mythical, and literary sources, as well as on her thematic concern with the ability of art to transform life, the role of speech and silence in liberation and oppression, and the fluidity of sex and gender roles,” and Our Country’s Good is Wertenbaker at her best.
The play is based on true events (also chronicled in Thomas Keneally’s novel, The Playmaker) which occurred during the British settlement of Australia as a penal colony in 1788. The story centers on a group of convicts and British officers who must find a way to create a new society far away from the structured, civilized world. When the governor of the colony suggests that the convicts might benefit from exposure to cultural activities such as the theatre, one of the British officers is appointed to direct a group of convicts in a production of a comedy of manners. The results can be hilarious, but are just as often moving and disturbing as the lines between the punished and their punishers blur.
“Who knows what humanity lies hidden under the rags and filth of a mangled life?” is a question that the governor hopes the play project will answer. But that question merely grazes the bigger questions the playwright wants to ask with this play and that the Company at Rebel Alliance invites you to explore along with them as they begin their fifteenth season: Who knows where that line between human and inhuman really is? What do we expect of one another and ourselves as we create, participate in and nurture our own communities? What world do we want to build and live in together? Of what use and purpose to that world are the seemingly “frivolous” pursuits of artistic expression of any kind?
Rebel Alliance looks forward to having their fellow community members join them for a performance where this conversation will continue. Families with children under thirteen are cautioned that due to violence and some mature language and situations, Our Country’s Good is rated M for Mature on the Rebel Alliance Family Ratings System scale. While the content is probably nothing you wouldn’t see on cable, somehow in the intimate space of live performance it becomes more graphic. People are hurt. Words you might find difficult to hear out loud are uttered. As we often say at Rebel - - life is messy, but we like it real.
All shows begin at 7pm (doors open at 6:30). Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for students and seniors, and $5.00 for children. Visit us on our Website at rebelalliancetheatre.org, on Facebook and our blog at http://rebelalliancetheatre.wordpress.com.
For more information or to reserve seats call (920) 426-8580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Country’s Good is produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company.
Produced by Rebel Alliance Theatre at Omro wedding chapel, 205 Adams St, Omro WI
Performances: July 30 - August 15, 2009
Performance Times: All shows begin at 7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Ticket Prices: 5.00 for children, 8.00 for students and seniors, 10.00 adults
Call 920-426-8580 for reservations or more information.