April 21, 2008

Kleinau Theatre to stage faculty member's pla

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- There are the people we are, and there are the people whom we might have become. Generally, the two don't meet.

But in the case of Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, associate professor of performance studies in the Department of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, they will – in a way.

Gingrich-Philbrook brings a performance he wrote and plays a major role in – "Why Not Rule the World, or, The Apocalypse of Binky," to the Marion Kleinau Theatre April 24-26. All shows are at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $7 and student admission is $5.

"The show is about coming to terms with my conservative upbringing – the good and the bad of that, both – in the context of my mother's death and the state of our nation," he said, describing the performance. "I try to question it and also to understand those aspects of it that still sustain me."

Binky, he said, was his family name when he was a child. The Binky in the performance is Gingrich-Philbrook as his mother wanted him to be. The other character he describes as "me on my own."

The show is not traditional theater, and the presentation of characters is not necessarily straightforward, Gingrich-Philbrook said. Also, he warned, the show deals with mature themes.

Two free nights of Spotlight Performances round out the remainder of the spring 2008 Kleinau Theatre schedule. The Performing Culture Spotlight Performance is at 8 p.m. on April 30. The advanced class Spotlight Performance is at 8 p.m. on May 3. Course instructors choose standout performances for the Spotlight Performances. The April show highlights "Performing Culture," a core course for speech communication. The May date highlights performances from storytelling, performance of literature, environmental performance and staging literature.

The Marion Kleinau Theatre is on the second floor of the Communications Building.