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by Charlsie Dewey | charlsie@revuewm.com THEATRE Other Theatre


Events | by Garrett Dennert


Twelve Angry Men Civic Theatre, Grand Rapids


Sept. 9–18, show times at 2, 7 and 7:30 p.m. grct.org, (616) 222-6650


In 1954, Reginald Rose adapted Twelve Angry Men from his own teleplay and turned it into one of the many stage adaptations seen since. Then in 1957 Sidney Lumet turned it into a critically acclaimed motion picture, starring Henry Fonda. But no matter the history or the form, the story has stayed relatively the same, even if different spins on stage involve 12 Angry Women or 12 Angry Jurors. For those unfamiliar with the story, this is a courtroom drama where a boy is tried for the alleged murder of his father. The 12 Angry Men are the jurors who must come to a unanimous decision on whether the boy is guilty and whether he will continue to live. Drama ensues.


All Shook Up Kalamazoo Civic Theatre


Sept. 16–Oct. 2, shows at 2, 7:30 and 8 p.m. $7–$22; kazoocivic.com, (269) 343-1313


The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre kicks off its season with style this fall. Its first performance of the season, All Shook Up, is comprised of hit songs by Elvis Presley, including the title song, “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,”


“Don’t be Cruel” and “Jailhouse Rock.” While the songs play, a Midwestern summer in 1955 will be in front of you. The story unfolds when a stranger comes to town and reminds its citi- zens, through rock and roll, that there is such a thing as romance. Premiering in Chicago in 2005, this is a young play, but is sure to be fun and entertaining. Even The King would say so.


he conducted with former workers following the closing of the General Motors Stamping Plant in Wyoming. Bunn said he was interested in answering the question, “What happens to the people that make things when we stop making things?” “One of the general themes is the wages of loyalty,” Bunn said. “We


Actors’ Theater Debuts Rust T


HIS MONTH, ACTORS’ THEATER will debut a brand new work, Rust, written by Playwright and Grand Valley State University Professor Austin Bunn. Bunn said his play is a piece of documentary theatre in the style of The Laramie Project, and came out of several interviews


talk about the wages of war, but the wages of loyalty is really strong here, because many of these people are second or third generation [workers] at GM. One fellow we interviewed, he’s the third generation to work in that very plant. His grandfather started working there when it opened.” Bunn says the play also explores the movement from a culture


that makes things and works with their hands to a culture removed from physical work. “I think we are very disconnected from the idea of work in


America,” Bunn said. “We have moved from a culture where we were really interested in how things got made to a culture where we are very interested in how things get bought.” The play is presented using three different theatrical styles inter-


woven with one another. The first track is presented using the style of documentary theater, in which transcripts from the interviews are presented via actors. The second is a docu-drama, in which composite characters have been created utilizing interviews from multiple work- ers and some second person stories that they shared. The third track follows the journey of the character of Austin Bunn, a college professor struggling to develop his play and the transformations resulting from that struggle. Bunn says that a series of projections will be


utilized to create the backdrop for the story. The pro- jection screens will display words, statistics and also images of the plant. He enlisted Jared Wekenman, guitarist from


Paucity, to develop the music, which will be performed live during the show.


Despite the seemingly downbeat expectation that some might have


about a show focused on stories of people who have lost jobs, taken buy outs or transferred to other locations, Bunn says his play is not the end of the story; it’s the beginning of the story. “This is a show about transition and people struggling to go


through a transition from one version of themselves to the next version of themselves,” he explained. “I think we all have some assumptions about how


RUST Spectrum Theatre, Grand Rapids Sept. 29–Oct. 8, 8 p.m. $10–$24 actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946


this story works – about unemployment – we’ve all kind of heard that. I think this show is trying to go deeper into that subject matter and provide people with some fresh perspective, so I don’t think this show is a downbeat show at all. I think people will walk away from the show kind of experiencing people’s resilience and what work means in our lives or what it means to make things with our hands. Those are important themes to everybody.” n


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SCENE | SOUNDS |SIGHTS DIING | SCHEDULE


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