Contemporary comedy play to be presented at Ripon College

Student actors Wil Bridenhagen and Savannah White in production of "Naked Mole Rats"

“Naked Mole Rats in a World of Darkness,” a comedy play by Mike Folie, will be presented Nov. 15, 16 and 18 by the Ripon College Department of Theatre. The play will be presented in Benstead Theatre, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts.

Each actor in the ensemble cast will play multiple roles in a series of vignettes and monologues about the trials and tribulations of close relationships between men and women. “A kaleidoscopic spoof on the tensions in intimate relationships from the hilarious to the poignant,” is a good description of the play, according Bob Amsden, professor of theatre and the play’s director.

“I have been looking for a good comedy for a while now,” Amsden says, “and I laughed out loud while reading the script for the first time.” He was looking for something more contemporary as well as humorous and found it with a play publishing company that emphasizes new and imaginative scripts. “The observations the playwright makes about how men and women in conversation and in conflict are not exactly on the same page are as accurate as they are amusing,” says Amsden. Misunderstandings abound and characters talk past each other, not really listening to what the other one is saying, just like in real life.

The cast of eight, who together play more than 30 roles, includes Michaellena “Mikey” Ambrowiak ’19, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; William “Wil” Bridenhagen ’21, Neenah, Wisconsin; Ryan Krogsgaard ’20, Fort Worth, Texas; Dakota Marlega ’21, Waupaca, Wisconsin; Race Rohde ’20, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; DeShawn Thomas ’20, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Mackenzie Swart ’20, Brookfield, Wisconsin; and Savannah White ’19, Carol Stream, Illinois.

Scenic design is by Crystal Fercy, a junior theatre major from Appleton, Wisconsin, who created locales ranging from a zoo to the bedroom and even a place for a couple of body parts to have a discussion. Susan Hill, costume shop supervisor and adjunct professor of theatre, is the costume designer; and John Dalziel, associate professor of theatre, is the lighting designer. Mike Baumhardt ’18 is the sound designer.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended by calling 920-748-8791 or emailing [email protected] The content is appropriate for more mature audiences, upper-level high schoolers and older.

(Photo: Wil Bridenhagen and Savannah White)