March 16, 2009

Kleinau Theater to host ‘Bat on a Wyre’

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Craig Gingrich-Philbrook and Jonny Gray, associate professors in the Department of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, bring their twisted, post-apocalyptic vision to the Kleinau Theater March 26-28.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for students. The box office is open at 7:30 p.m. before performances.

“Bat on a Wyre,” a performance the two created with a collaborative cast, focuses on a cast of shipmates traveling a post-apocalyptic sea. The passengers and crew, including “mystics, religious leaders, merchant sailors, scientists and artists,” hold to their respective roles -- until they discover “a bat being held prisoner in the hold of the ship.” Then, all sorts of questions, from the basic to the sublime, bubble to the surface in this partly scripted, partly improvised performance.

“Gingrich-Philbrook and Gray have performed their creative work and presented scholarship about performance are nationwide,” Kleinau Theater Publicity Director Charles Parrott said.

“Bat on a Wyre” incorporates the improvised work of both undergraduate and graduate students under Gingrich-Philbrook’s direction.