Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents CHAPATTI

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents

CHAPATTI

by Christian O’Reilly

September 21 – October 14, 2018

Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre

 

Milwaukee, WI. … Both Dan and Betty would say they love their pets better than any person left alive – but when their lives cross paths, perhaps they’ll find they’re not past the opportunity for romance after all. In CHAPATTI, directed by Michelle Lopez-Rios, Irish writer Christian O’Reilly tells a poignant, gentle tale about rediscovering the importance of human connection. The production runs September 21 – October 14, 2018 at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre in the Historic Third Ward.

 

Dan seeks to heal his aching heart, with only his faithful dog Chapatti for companionship. Betty spends her days with a litter or two of kittens and an aging employer to nurse. For both, romance is a distant memory – until a chance encounter brings these two lonely Irish hearts together for one more adventure.

 

O’Reilly’s tale is presented in an extremely simple fashion, with both Dan and Betty often narrating their own halves of the story to the audience. Our two-person cast will feature James Tasse, returning to the MCT stage for the first time since THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES in 2010, and Jenny Wanasek, last seen in 2016’s VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE.

 

“I could not think of two more perfect actors to bring these characters to life,” says director Michelle Lopez-Rios. “(We) have been dreaming up a world that surrounds these characters as they tell their tales through a gorgeous weaving of scenes and soliloquies.”

 

CHAPATTI is the second work by Irish playwright Christian O’Reilly to be produced by MCT. The company’s production of THE GOOD FATHER, in 2014, marked director Michelle Lopez-Rios’ first encounter with the writer’s work. She served as dialect coach on that production, and will do the same for CHAPATTI in addition to directing.

 

“His poetic words were a roller coaster of laughs and heartbreak,” Lopez-Rios says. “His writing is brutally honest and brilliant storytelling. Like THE GOOD FATHER, CHAPATTI focuses on two working class characters in Dublin. The collision of their worlds changes these very complex people.”

 

She adds, “CHAPATTI examines what it means to love and be loved. At its very core, it is about human connection and why we long for companionship. In our world of texting, emailing, and virtual friends, it is a beautiful look at loneliness and how people are responsible for each other.”

 

Our community partner for this production will be Milwaukee Irish Arts, a local nonprofit theatre group dedicated to bringing the Irish story to American audiences for more than 30 years. Milwaukee Irish Arts is no stranger to the work of O’Reilly; in 2018, they produced multiple stagings of THE GOOD FATHER throughout the Milwaukee area and took the production to the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival. During the partnership, they will be working with MCT to engage potential audience members within the Irish-American community, and MCT will assist in promoting productions by Milwaukee Irish Arts in 2019.

 

CHAPATTI performances will take place September 21 – October 14, 2018 (Opening Night: Saturday, September 22), in the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com. Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com. CHAPATTI is co-sponsored by Keith & Paula Anderson and Max Seigle & Marni Pollack.

 

 

[ CAST ]

Dan ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. James Tasse

Betty …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Jenny Wanasek

 

[ PRODUCTION STAFF ]

Director/Dialect Coach…………………………………………………………………………….. Michelle Lopez-Rios

Stage Manager…………………………………………………………………………………………………. Brandy Kline

Scenic Designer………………………………………………………………………………………………. Sandy Strawn

Costume Designer…………………………………………………………………………………………………. Amy Horst

Lighting Designer………………………………………………………………………………………………. Steve White

Sound Designer…………………………………………………………………………………………………… Chris Guse

Propmaster………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Matt Norby

 

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION ]

September 21 – October 14, 2018
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
 

 

 

 

21

7:30 p.m. P

22          

8:00 p.m. O

23

2:00 p.m.

26         1:00 p.m.*

7:30 p.m. V

27

7:30 p.m. T

28

7:30 p.m.

29           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

30

2:00 p.m.

Oct 3
7:30 p.m.
4           

7:30 p.m. T

5

7:30 p.m.

6             4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

7

2:00 p.m.

10   1:00 p.m.*

      7:30 p.m. PWYC

11           

7:30 p.m. T

12

7:30 p.m.

13           4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

14

2:00 p.m.

P = Preview; O = Opening; T = Talkback; V = ViewPoints; *= Talk Theatre; PWYC = “Pay What You Choose” Night

 

[ SPECIAL EVENTS ]

 

–Pre-performance ViewPoints: Join us for All By Myself: The Monologue in Irish Drama, a presentation by Mike Fischer, former theatre critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He’ll be discussing the unique nature of Irish monologue plays like CHAPATTI, and how they connect to Ireland’s rich cultural history. This free presentation and Q&A is on Wednesday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.

 

–Pre-performance Talk Theatre: MCT producing artistic director C. Michael Wright will lead two lively, informative chats during the run of CHAPATTI. On Wednesday, September 26, our guests will be sound designer Chris Guse and lighting designer Steve White. Then, on Wednesday, October 10, our guest will be scenic designer Sandy Strawn. Talk Theatre always begins at 12:00 noon in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

 

–Post-performance Talkbacks: Post-show discussions with the artists will take place following performances on Thursday, September 27, Thursday, October 4 and Thursday, October 11.

 

Pay What You Choose Night: Beginning with this season, Pay What You Choose Nights are no longer exclusively scheduled for preview performances. CHAPATTI’s PWYC Night will be Wednesday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for that night’s performance will go on sale beginning an hour before the show, at 6:30 p.m. Patrons must visit the box office in person to purchase their tickets, and can purchase a maximum of 2 tickets per order.

 

[ BIOGRAPHIES ]

 

JAMES TASSE – Dan

Jim Tasse is an actor, director and senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has performed with many local theatre companies including Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Next Act and In Tandem. He spent two years as the Associate Artistic Director for MCT and received his training with the Professional Theatre Training Program at UWM. He has also appeared in the locally produced films Wisconsin Death Trip, Tracks and most recently Small Town Wisconsin. Along with his colleagues, Nancy Smith Watson and Bill Watson, Jim is a co-founder of Feast of Crispian, a nonprofit organization which brings together professional actors with military veterans in order to teach and strengthen the emotional resources veterans need to overcome trauma and reintegration issues, through acting techniques and the works of Shakespeare.

 

JENNY WANASEK – Betty

MCT audiences may remember Jenny as Sonia in VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE. Other acting credits in MCT productions include PICNIC, THE MOONLIGHT ROOM, LOST IN YONKERS, THE IMMIGRANT, MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL, and CLARENCE. She’s directed MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS, THREE DAYS OF RAIN, and MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION for the company. Recent acting credits include TOP GIRLS and THE BELLE OF AMHERST for Renaissance Theaterworks, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH for First Stage and THREE VIEWS OF THE SAME OBJECT for Next Act. Recent directing credits include LETTICE AND LOVAGE and EDUCATING RITA at Renaissance. She is a co-founder of the Center for Applied Theatre (CAT) which uses theatre techniques to address social issues and communication challenges.

 

MICHELLE LOPEZ-RIOS – Director/Dialect Coach

Michelle is always delighted to be a part of MCT where she has collaborated as a dialect coach, actor, writer, board member and director of A ROSE FOR MRS. KEMP (for MCT’s Young Playwrights Festival). Other directing credits include THE MOLE HILL STORIES (First Stage); PRECIOUS LIVES: THE LIVE SHOW (371 Productions); ENFRASCADA (Renaissance Theaterworks); ONE HOT TEXICAN SUMMER (OR THE SUMMER I FOUND OUT I WAS MEXICAN) (Royal Mexican Players); DECAFFEINATED TRAGEDY (Bad Soviet Habits); BIENVENIDOS A MILWAUKEE (UCC); TRIP THROUGH THE MIND OF A CRAZY MEXICAN (Royal Mexican Players) and many university productions. Co-founder of the Royal Mexican Players, she and playwright Alvaro Saar Rios have taught workshops and created original works all over the country for more than a decade. She is an associate professor of voice & speech at The Theatre School at DePaul University where she will direct JANE OF THE JUNGLE later this season.

 

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MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE

Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate and accessible theatrical works that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright and Managing Director Kirsten Finn, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

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