The Edmond Sun

Arts & Entertainment

February 7, 2014

UCO takes theater-goers on ‘interactive road trip’

EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma Theatre Arts Department will present the avant-garde play “bobrauschenbergamerica” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13-15 and 2 p.m. Feb. 16 at Mitchell Hall Theater on the university’s Edmond campus. 

Written by Charles L. Mee in 2001, “bobrauschenbergamerica” follows disparate plot threads that serve as a collage of music, dancing, love stories and chicken jokes in an attempt to recapture the spirit and emotion of American pop artist Robert Rauschenberg.

“Bob Rauschenberg was famous for his ‘combines,’ which is what he called his artwork composed of non-traditional materials and objects,” said Kato Buss, Central assistant professor of theatre arts and director of this production.

“This play really embodies that emotion and impulse.”

The production fosters a college-wide collaboration, utilizing various disciplines in UCO’s College of Fine Arts and Design including dance, music and art.         

“The play is very interactive. The set interacts with the actors and the actors interact with the audience,” Buss said.          

“The idea is to recreate the atmosphere and emotions of the American road trip, where you meet different people along the way, experience different food, enjoy different conversations, take snapshots, buy postcards, collect refrigerator magnets, listen to music.”          

Included in this interactive, road-trip-like experience will be an art show in the Mitchell Hall lobby showcasing the work of Central art professor Barbara Broadwell.   

“We want the audience to be immersed in the artistic experience, our creative world, the moment they step into Mitchell Hall,” Buss explained.          

The production also has been a learning experience for the student actors and actresses. According to Buss, this nontraditional play forces students to really evaluate their roles and flex their creative muscles while being exposed to a lesser-known playwright.          

“The whole process has been organic. There has been nothing cookie-cutter about it. This production really pushes against the false notion that theatre is long and boring,” Buss concluded.          

Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for senior citizens, faculty and staff with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Mitchell Hall Box Office at 974-3375. Central students with a valid ID get one free ticket per ID.          

FOR A complete listing of UCO College of Fine Arts and Design events and performances, visit www.uco.edu/cfad/events.

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