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Keller Directs MUD As Part Of Village Players' 'Women On The Cutting Edge Series'

The acclaimed Lawrence Keller is directing "Mud", the next show of the Women On The Cutting Edge series at Village Players Theater. "Mud" opens March 27th, 2010.

Lawrence Keller is a director with 28 years of experience working on a wide array of plays. He earned his undergrad in theatre from State University of New York at Plattsburg, and then a master of fine arts from Florida State University. He went into theater in New York City before moving to Atlanta. In Atlanta, Keller directed a variety of productions, including "Sweeney Todd", "A Christmas Carol", "Red Scare on Sunset", "Night and Her Stars", and "The Food Chain", for which the Atlanta Journal accredit Keller with "Best Direction" in 1996. Now in the Chicago area, Keller teaches playwriting at Lyons Township High School. He also directs productions at Lyons Township, including "The Witches" and "Metamorphoses". Building a reputation of working with scripts that show the darker side of human nature, Keller continues his work with Maria Irene Fornes' "Mud".

In this Fornes play, Mae and Lloyd have an odd partnership that they grew into, with Lloyd taking care of The Farm and pigs while Mae takes care of the household chores. Despite their very modest income Mae tries to better herself, going to school so she can be literate and numerate. When Henry enters the picture to help read some health advice, Mae feels she has found a replacement for Lloyd. However, Mae realizes that as time goes on both men are holding her back. "Mud" is a complex tale with simple characters and meager situations, where one will resonate with the need to achieve something more.

"Mud" stars Nick Bonges, Stephanie Ganacoplos, and Dennis Schnell. Designers include Annalee Johnson (set/props) and Emma Weber (costumes). Kelly Herz is stage managing.

"Mud" is part of the "Women on the Cutting Edge Series", where Village Players showcases female playwrights or characters who have an "edgy" sensibility. All of the shows are staged in the intimate Studio Theater. It started with Willaim Gibson's "The Miracle Worker", directed by Megan Wells (Sept. 12th to Oct. 4th, 2009), which closed to rave reviews from both the Wednesday Journal and the Chicago Reader. "Miracle Worker" was followed by "Savage in Limbo" by John Patrick Shanley directed by Jacque Lueken (Jan. 23rd to Feb. 21st, 2010). One women finds her friend's break up an opportunity to fill the lonely void she feels in this confrontational dramedy. The last show of the series is "Polaroid Stories" by Naomi Iizuka directed by Kyra Lewandowski (June 10--July 18, 2010). This play marries the human side of ancient myths with the psychological struggles of modern urban youth.

"Mud" will have previews on Thursday, March 25th and Friday, March 26th at 7:30pm. "Mud" opens on Saturday, March 27th at 7:30pm runs until Sunday, April, 25th 2010. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors over 65 and students with a valid I.D. Group rates are available for parties of six or more. Thursday and Sunday are 2 for 1 tickets prices. All performances will be found at the Village Players Performing Arts Center, 1010 Madison St., Oak Park. The theater is near the Harlem exit of I-290 and is also accessible by the CTA Green and Blue lines and by Metra on the Union Pacific West (UP-W) line. Plenty of parking is available on the street. The theater is handicapped accessible but please do call ahead to arrange for special seating. You can find more information by calling 866-764-1010 or visiting www.village-players.org.



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