Tennessee Williams' experimental 'Camino Real' comes to University Theatre

Topic: College of Fine Arts

November 4, 2008

One of the most fascinating plays from the repertoire of one of America's most gifted playwrights will open at Ball State on Nov. 13. 
The Department of Theatre and Dance will present the experimental—and sometimes absurd—play "Camino Real" by Tennessee Williams at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13-15 and 19-22 with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Nov. 16. All shows will be at University Theatre.
"Camino Real," which has been described by some critics as Williams' most challenging and ambitious work, depicts the dream of Don Quixote, who envisions the adventures of historical and mythical figures trying to escape from Camino Real, a town on the edge of civilization where characters land when they have relinquished their hope and dreams.  Into this world comes Kilroy, an American boxer who is down but not out. While the town works to absorb Kilroy's hopelessness, he fights for a way to stay alive among characters who struggle to distinguish imagination from reality.
Directed by Karen Kessler, assistant professor of theater, "Camino Real" depicts a place that hosts romantics, misfits and dreamers, a mixture of past and present, of the real and the fantastic. The cast features students Matt Smith as Guttman, Geoff Kolar as Kilroy, Josh Jeffers as Casanova, Erin Neufer as Marguerite, Lindsey Zelli as Esmerelda, Kate Martin as The Gypsy and Curtis Becht as Lord Byron.
Kessler believes that the play has a beautiful story at its core.
"Williams is trying to convey that there is living and there is existing, and most people choose to merely exist.  Living is scarier and harder but ultimately better," she said.
Tickets cost $15 for the general public, $9 for students, and are available from the University Theatre Box Office, open noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit www.bsu.edu/theatre for more information.

Other upcoming productions include:

• "The Devil Made Me Dance"—7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-13; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 14. The Ball State Dance Theatre invites audience members to dance with the devil as he traces his journey through time with dazzling choreography and skillful dance.

• "The Importance of Being Earnest"—7:30 p.m. Feb. 12-14, Feb. 18-21; 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15. This witty, wise and wickedly funny comedy by Oscar Wilde follows the adventures of two bachelors as they pursue two women who have their hearts set on marrying Ernest, no matter who he is.

By Jenn Hillier

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