(lumin)theater lab to perform Escape from Happiness
After searching for a way to get more involved with the creative and artistic side of theater, Caitlin Weber and Libby Wasylik decided to take things into their own hands. The two co-founded (lumin)theater lab, a theater collaborative that began in November 2016. They will perform their first official production at the Hastings Arts Center May 11-13 and May 19-21.
(lumin)theater will perform "Escape from Happiness," a comedy of sorts, but Wasylik said that there is more to it.
"It's a comedy with a brain and a heart attached," Wasylik said.
Wasylik compares the play to the likes of "Little Miss Sunshine" or "Arrested Development." It is about a family who lives in a rough part of town. They continue to get into some crazy situations that "it becomes almost this farcical level of ridiculousness," Wasylik said. The family deals with abandonment issues, anger issues, coping with a sick family member and more. In addition, drugs show up in the family basement and the cops are going to charge the family matriarch with possession.
"So the family is just trying to figure its way out of this mess," Wasylik said.
Audiences can expect several hilarious moments from "Escape from Happiness," but Wasylik warned that the production is not appropriate for children. It is for adults and "it's hilarious, funny, but also moving," she said.
(lumin)theater lab has nine members in the company. Wasylik said that everyone is involved in all aspects of every production.
"It's a very collaborative experience," she said.
The group chose "Escape from Happiness" as their first production because it was the show that everyone was the most excited about when they were looking through shows. There was also a performance opportunity for everyone in the company. They even cast a few additional parts.
The overall goal for the theater group is to have a community that can help everyone grows as artists and learn more about the practice and art of making theater, Wasylik said.
Performances will be at 7 p.m. May 11-13 and May 19-20, and at 2 p.m. May 21. Hastings Arts Center is at 216 Fourth St. E. (lumin)theater lab uses sliding scale ticket pricing. All tickets are general admission. The audience can choose what they want to pay within the range of $9 to $39. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at Brown Paper Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2899366. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelli Tatum, Nora
Caitlin Weber, Gail
Aaron Henry, Junior
Jane Sterk, Dian
Tom Sorenson, Mike
Rob Anderson, Tom
Leah Christine, Mary Ann
Libby Wasylik, Elizabeth
Zach Filkins, Stevie
Dave Warg, Rolly
Director: Libby Wasylik
Assistant director: Steve Soler
Stage manager: Danelle Lewis
Assistant stage manager: Marty Weber