Youngblood and Pink Banana leave the theater with their new shows
Pink Banana artistic producer Matt Kemple says his company sought a hotel or motel room for its production of "Tape" because the loud and violent drama is set in one. The company had previously rented a Bay View storefront and turned it into a studio apartment for its production of "True West."
"We thought it would be completely ridiculous, but at the same time, I can't think of another way we would want to produce it," Kemple says of staging "Tape" in the hotel. "There is major intensity among the characters. It will be uncomfortable to be a fly on the wall in that room.
"It's going to be very claustrophobic. The script is very heavy. We wanted to push ourselves in ways we haven't done before."
"Tape" received its world premiere at the prestigious Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville in 2000. The drama is about a reunion of two old school buddies. One is an affable drug dealer and the other an emerging filmmaker.
Both men had been involved with the same young woman, and the get-together becomes ugly when one accuses the other of date raping her.
Kemple, who will portray one of the males, says Pink Banana had to do some serious hunting to find a hotel or motel willing to host the production. His company's name made managers suspicious that the show involved public sexual activity. It doesn't.
Monday's performance is a pay-what-you-can preview.
I'm hoping the Youngblood and Pink Banana shows trigger a trend for more site specific and out-of-the-theater stage productions in Milwaukee. Getting out of the familiar theatrical environment often results in new energy and excitement for a play and a company.
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