Guest post by Theatre B Ensemble Member Pam Strait
When my husband accepted a job teaching at MSUM, I felt a bit lost. As a born and bred southerner, I never dreamed I’d be spending more than a decade of my life in the distant, exotic American Midwest. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t really fit in. So I was always looking for things that connected me to my old life.
I happened across an ad for a local theatre company producing my favorite A.R. Gurney play, Sylvia. I went (alone, because I didn’t really have any friends) and I did something most Theatre B fans have also done: I fell in love. That night, I registered for Theatre B’s mailing list assuming they’d let me know what they were doing next and instead what I got was an email notice for auditions. It was a just a mass email – I think most people took a look at it and went ‘meh.’ I went ‘oooh!’
I’d done no theatre in several years, had nothing prepared, so I checked out a book of monologues from the library. It was in that book I discovered a scene from a play called Kuwait, the inimitable Martha, and her creator, Vincent Delaney. I was cast, and I was hooked. That scene helped me find a home and new family in Theatre B, and the inner midwesterner in myself.
The scene was such an intriguing piece that Theatre B eventually put Kuwait into the Main Stage season and brought Vincent in to work with the cast. I was a powerful experience to be in the room with the playwright, a figure often distant and unassailable.
And now Theatre B is again partnering with Mr. Delaney to bring you The Art of Bad Men, a true story of German soldiers in a World War II prisoner of war camp in a place none of them ever dreamed they’d be spending the end of the war: the distant, exotic American Midwest.