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Theater debuts new work and guest director

By Bryan Perissutti
On April 24, 2012

Sipping on Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and wearing the latest fashion from American Apparel are just some of the hobbies for hipsters Dennis and Travis. Their evening takes an interesting turn when a mysterious man with a guitar walks into the coffee shop they work at and starts a chain of events that neither one of them could see coming.

"Who the F**k is Dan Smith?, or a hipster ballet", which will open Wednesday, April 25 and run through Saturday, April 28 in Vonnie Borden Theatre at 7 p.m., is a new work being directed by Southeastern alumna Shiloh Klein who collaborated with playwright Michael Bradley to bring the play to campus.

The play pokes fun at the hipster culture through the illusive Dan Smith, played by Jesse Brooks. All the characters in the play have a fascination with Smith, who is a guitar player and Christ-like figure. He is a mythical character in the play due in part to his mystical healing powers and enigmatic nature.

"This is truly an ensemble cast. There is not anyone inparticular who carries the show," said Klein. "Dan Smith is this sort of legend among this culture we call 'Hipsteria.' Even though he doesn't say a lot, his presence is always there and he's sort of the puppet master of this show."

Klein added that the show has a fair share of cursing and adult situations, but conversations on stage are nothing more than what one might hear walking down the street.

"The title can be attention grabbing, which is great, but it can also be kind of intimidating because people don't necessarily know what it's about," said Klein. "There is a lot of language in it, but most of it is in a comedic way. If you sit out back of D Vickers or any other building on campus you'll most likely hear these general conversations happening on a day-to-day basis."

Klein believed that anyone 18 years old or older would enjoy the show because of the appeal of the characters.

The set was designed by Southeastern alumus Michael Kramer and is made up of multiple levels, inspired by M.C. Escher's 1953 lithograph, "Relativity."

"We pushed it a little bit toward the absurdist direction," said Klein. "We got creative and there's no bad seat in the house."

Audience members should expect to see a show that borderlines on ridiculous, but at the same time has a message.

"While some of what they are going through and doing may seem very trivial, they are all sort of searching for this deeper meaning," said Klein.

Tickets are on sale in the box office located on the first floor of D Vickers. Admission is free for students with a Southeastern ID.


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