Krebs era set to begin in Earnest at Lakeland
Student Life - posted on 10/15/2007
His first show at Lakeland College is foremost in his efforts, but there is an awful lot going on in Charlie Krebs' mind these days.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" will open the Krebs' era when it takes the stage at Lakeland's Bradley Fine Arts Building on Oct. 25-28.
It's the first Lakeland production for Krebs, who was hired as an assistant professor and the college's new theatre director after a highly successful run as director of the theatre program at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan.
For now, the fury of activity in the Bradley centers on Oscar Wilde's popular 19th century morality tale, but Krebs, who takes over for the recently retired James Crawford, is just getting started.
"This has been a lot of fun," said Krebs, who came to Sheboygan in 2000. "It's great to hear about the long legacy of my predecessor, JC, and work with students whom he taught. It's also been fun for me to have a new sandbox to play in.
"This is a wonderful theatre and has set my imagination afire with ideas for upcoming shows. With a tremendous music department, doing musical theatre is a perfect new direction for this campus. As interest grows for theatre here, more students will get involved and we can do epic dramas and lustrous musicals."
Lakeland will stage a musical every year, beginning with "Pippin," the story of Charlemagne's first son, March 6-9.
Audience members won't see many of the changes. Students have renovated the scenery shop and have given themselves the capacity to learn stagecraft with modern equipment. Lakeland's maintenance department built a costume shop from the ground up where students can study costuming, and a shop will be created where students will learn to upholster, repair and create furniture.
"With new storage facilities for thousands of costumes, shoes, hats, and fabric, we are seeking all kinds of clothing donations," Krebs said. "We are planning to start a costume course, and these clothes will help students learn how fashion developed, as well as how garments were constructed."
There are a few immediate changes audience members will notice with "The Importance of Being Earnest." The show will begin 30 minutes earlier, at 7:30 p.m., on Oct. 25-27, and a 2 p.m. matinee has been added on Sunday, Oct. 28.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for non-Lakeland students. Seniors can buy $8 seats for the Sunday matinee. Contact Deb Fale at (920) 565-1536 to order, or order online at www.lakeland.edu/AboutUs/theatre
Krebs said most people are familiar with the three-act version of Earnest, but Lakeland is staging Wilde's original four-act version, which has an additional scene and two additional characters.
The original version was lost for years, but when a German translation surfaced after Wilde's death, it was translated back into English. In this - Wilde's most well-known work - he masterfully lampoons the superficiality and hypocrisy of the Victorian upper class.
"One of the major themes in the play is morality, which the main characters view as an inconvenient restraint on their lives," Krebs said. "To highlight and comment on this shallowness, I decided to juxtapose their affectation with the genuineness of the many servants in the play.
"This contrast will also be played out in the dialects; the aristocratic characters will use a British dialect, while the servant class will use Cockney. It also adds another layer of comedy as the maids, housekeepers and butlers make fun of their superiors.
"While the play takes place over a hundred years ago, hypocrisy hasn't change a bit. Some people still think they are better than others and have elaborate rituals to prove it to themselves. It gives them power. The play points this out in a very comedic way that almost makes it more effective, and it certainly makes it a lot more fun."
Heading up the cast is Christopher Wray (Algernon Moncrieff), Joseph Janisch (Jack Worthing), Holly Zielinski (Lady Brachnell), Heather Gayton (Gwendolen Fairfax), Kayann Botana (Cecily Cardew), Rebecca Bentz (Miss Prism) and Larry Marcus (Rev. Chasuble).
Other cast members include Ricardo Brown, Janelle Zito, Nicole Hoy, Amanda Vardell, Katelyn Gussert, Shastel Baker and Markus Savaglio.
"It's a very talented group of performers who each seemed to fit perfectly into their roles," Krebs said. "They have to play affectation truthfully and not melodramatically, learn dialects and not get them confused, learn new acting techniques and help break in a new director.
"They set learning goals for themselves, which required them to reach for something they didn't know if they could achieve. We all created a list of community values for our troupe that we pledged to uphold regarding respect, encouragement, accountability, experimenting and balancing work and play."
Share This Story Help
Lakeland offers links to several popular social bookmarking services. These links help you share stories with other people or create bookmarks for future reference. The services are free, but they require a personal account. Click for more information on social bookmarking
<< Return to News