Six Characters In Search Of An Author

Six Characters In Search Of An Author

As The Maze, a Big Brother-type “reality” television show, gets ready for their big live finale, the house is invaded by a mysterious, uninvited family of characters who insist that they aren’t people at all but actual characters sprung to life from the imagination of an author. In front of the cameras and the live audience, the cast and crew wrestle with what is really real vs. what is true and how to transform their life stories into art and entertainment. Twin Cities playwright and director Alan Berks brings this landmark of modern theatre into the 21st century world of social media, celebrity, and unscripted TV.

A little backstory…

Six Characters in Search of an Author is actually a 94-year play. Original audiences yelled, “Madhouse!” from their seats. Pirandello created the idea of “play within a play” to explore themes around truth and reality. It blew minds away.

Fast forward a century. Alan Berks & Co. first adapted the script in 2013. Speaking to modern ways our reality is shaped by media and technology, our concept revolved around a reality TV show, The Maze.

In 2015, Wonderlust conducted a fall residency at the University of St. Thomas, facilitated by Professor Amy Muse. We worked with nearly 200 students from nine classes. Their smart, intelligent input and feedback pushed our ideas further to include social media, as well as their personal stories, in our new version.  Several students will be helping out with the show directly – on stage, on camera, and doing behind the scenes work.

In the re-imagined 2016 version, we staged Six Characters as a live reality TV show finale. Our audience was the real, live, in-studio audience, joining us for an adventure into the world of celebrity, unscripted reality TV, avatars, and the alternate universe that is social media.

Reviews called Six Characters “riveting”, “insightful”, “clever” and “entertaining” : Cherry and SpoonMinnesota Theater LoveTwin Cities Art ReaderTalkin’ Broadway, Pioneer Press

 

CAST AND CREW OF “SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR”

Adapted and Directed by Alan Berks

Performers
Reality Show Star T. Michael Brown
Reality Show Star Rachel Finch
Daughter Kiara Jackson
“Director” Paul LaNave
Reality Show Star Sam Landman
Son Gabriel Murphy
Mother Sandra Struthers*
Ms. Nakeesha Dana Lee Thompson
Father Adam Whisner
Joe Joe Wiener

Design and Production
Lighting Design Jesse Cogswell
Sound Design Katharine Horowitz
Set Design Zeb Hultz
Puppet Design Christopher Lutter-Gardella
Stage Manager Jacob Miller
Video Design Paul Moehring
Props Design Sarah Salisbury
Assistant Stage Manager Tracy Swenson

Marketing and Administration
University Residency Coordinator Amelia Brown
Producer Leah Cooper
Marketing and PR Deb Ervin
Photography Aaron Fenster
Graphic Design Kelsye Gould

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

Special thanks to Park Square Theatre for presenting this version, and the University of St. Thomas for the partnership residency.

Originally created by Alan Berks and Company and co-produced with Gremlin Theatre

First produced, March 1-24, 2013 at Gremlin Theater in Saint Paul

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“Brilliantly updated”Star Tribune

“A remarkable feat”Lavender Magazine.

STARRING: JOHN MIDDLETON, SAM LANDMAN, MAX WOJTANOWICZ, RACHEL FINCH, MICHAEL TERRELL BROWN, JOE WIENER, BRYAN PORTER, COLLEEN BARRETT, DANA LEE THOMPSON, AND SHAVUNDA HORSLEY

DESIGNED BY: JOHN BUECHE (SET), KATHERINE HOROWITZE (SOUND), ANDREA GROSS (COSTUMES), CARL SCHOENBORN (LIGHTS), CHRIS LUTTER-GARDELLA (PUPPETS), AND PAUL MOEHRING (VIDEO).

STAGE MANAGER: DEB ERVIN