'Summer Evening in Des Moines' Opens at Robsham

'Summer Evening in Des Moines' Opens at Robsham

Robsham Theater will present the world premiere of a new work by acclaimed, up-and-coming American playwright Charles L. Mee, "A Summer Evening in Des Moines," from Feb. 20-24 in the Bonn Studio Theater.

Directed by Asst. Prof. Scott Cummings (Theater), the postmodern comedy follows eight eccentric characters, including a man in a mouse suit, a ventriloquist and a beautiful woman, during their long, strange trip through the amusement park of life.

Mee, who is scheduled to attend the Saturday and Sunday shows, has had two of his plays performed at the prestigious Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and will have a third next month. His plays have been performed in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and elsewhere in the United States, as well as in Venice, Vienna, Paris, and other cities in Europe.

An historian and editor as well as a playwright, he has authored such books as Playing God, The Genius of the People, Meeting at Potsdam, The End of Order and The Marshall Plan, all of them selections of the History Book Club, Book of the Month Club, or the Literary Guild.

On his World Wide Web site [www.panix.com/~meejr/indexnf.html], Mee writes, "I try in my work to get past traditional forms of psychological realism, to bring into the frame of the plays material from history, philosophy, insanity, inattention, distractedness, judicial theory, sudden violent passion, lyricism, the National Enquirer, nostalgia, longing, aspiration, literary criticism, anguish, confusion, inability."

Cummings, who is working on a book about Mee's plays, approached Mee for permission to produce a work of his that had never been staged. Mee consented and gave him the script for "A Summer Evening in Des Moines."

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. on Feb. 20-23, with an additional show at 11 p.m. on Feb. 22. The Feb. 24 performance will start at 2 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information, call Robsham Theater at ext. 2-4002 or visit the Web site www.bc.edu/bc_org/svp/rtac/rtac.html.

-Sean Smith


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