Museum

By Tina Howe

Directed by Thomas Ward

Combine over forty eccentric characters, several bizarre pieces of modern art, and a nervous security guard. What do you get? A delightful and intelligent comedy about museum lovers and the artists they idolize. Tina Howe's award-winning play is the featured performance of this year's exciting Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival.

October 19-20, 23-24, 27 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
October 25 at 7 p.m.
October 21 and 28 2007 at 2 p.m.
Mabee Theatre

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Cast
The Guard Jeff Wisnoski
Michael Wall Clayton Ellis
Jean-Claude Dustin Chaffin
Francoise Traci Ledford
Annette Froebel Brittany Howard
Liz Shaun Patterson
Carol Rebecca Johnson
Blakey Anna Grimm
Mr. Hollingsford Jon Mark Howeth
Elizabeth Sorrow Jenny King
Peter Ziff Kendall Foote
Maggie Snow Elizabeth D. Cantrell
Bob Lamb Camren Turner
Will Willard Brandon Woolley
Fred Izumi Clay Wheeler
Mira Zadal Kara Kilmer
First Man in Passing Phillip Rudy
Second Man in Passing Trey Henry
Barbara Castle Lindsey Christian
Barbara Zimmer Natalie Baker
Mr. Gregory Adam Garst
Mrs. Salt Suzanne Tarta
Chloe Trapp Liz Conly
Ada Bilditsky Melissa Flower
Gilda Norris Danielle Williams
Tink Solheim Mary Laws
Kate Siv Meredith Owens
Bill Plaid Trey Jackson
Lillian Marylee Carney
Harriet Louise McCartney
May Lindsay Ehrhardt
Giorgio Patrick Matzig
Zoe Kelly Nobles
Julie Jenkins Marley Singletary
First Guard Sam Hough
Second Guard Joey Melcher
Steve Williams Andrew Saenz
Mr. Moe Harrison Ross
Mrs. Moe Taylor Kulhanek

Student Production Staff
Stage Manager Zach Krohn
Assistant Stage Manager Lisa Chapa
Assistant Stage Manager Hayley Rainer
Sound Designer Dustin Chaffin

Faculty Production Staff
Set Designer Bill Sherry
Technical Director Mike Schmalz
Lighting Designer Jessica Rapier
Make-up Designer Adrienne Harper
Costume Designer Sally Askins


Baylor Theatre's "Museum" a witty, inventive slice of life

By Carl Hoover, Waco Tribune-Herald
October 22, 2007

Baylor Theatre's clever "Museum" presents a slice of museum life that cuts across art, artists, viewers, relationships and human nature.

That it does so with little plot, some 40 characters and largely overheard conversation pays tribute to its creator, New York playwright Tina Howe, this year's Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival honoree.

"Museum" represents an entertaining marriage of Howe's witty and remarkable script, Thomas Ward's perceptive direction and an ensemble effort from the Baylor theater department in both acting and production.

The play follows the final day in a modern art exhibit "The Broken Silence," whose artwork consists of a series of four solid white panels; seven sculptures crafted from animal bones; and a square metal clothes hanger from whose lines hang white human figures.

Audience members see the art up close for themselves as they walk to their seats through the onstage museum exhibit.

The museum's security guard (Jeff Wisnoski) begins his day with news that someone had machinegunned Botticelli's masterpiece, "Birth of Venus." That plants "Museum's" dramatic tension: Will one of the day's visitors damage the artwork?

What passes through the museum's white-walled and -pedestaled space is an amusing and entertaining cross-section:

•art snobs more interested in impressing others than enjoying the works
•amateur photographers who take the guard's request to get official permission before shooting as a personal affront
•visitors who stumble into the wrong exhibit
•malfunctioning audioguides
•a guide whose wordy, obtuse but enthusiastic explanations nonetheless draw listeners eager to understand what they're looking at
•those who find modern art and their devotees just crazy
•emotional reactions to the art, from weeping to laughter
•those who need to take home something tangible from the show, whether wooden clothespins or an entire sculpture

Ward neatly stages the action to highlight whatever conversation is going on, punctuated with the occasional group action or interaction as well as periodic pauses with nothing but characters' viewing happening - a reminder about the basic act of looking that takes place in a museum.

Funny and clever in equal measure, "Museum" succeeds in large part because of the production's spot-on look: art work that could stand on its own in a gallery; the set's elegant, antiseptic sense; a piece's multimedia surprise that's truly enchanting; and costuming that signals something about their wearers through their details.

Add remarkably balanced acting from a cast of more than 40 and you have a lively, entertaining, far-from-static "Museum."

"Museum" continues its Baylor Theatre run through Oct. 28 with performances at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and 27, 7 p.m. Oct. 25 and 2 p.m. Oct. 28.