American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
The most unbelievable stories are often born from truth. This one, for example, about Australia’s infamous penal colony. But there are other truths that swirl inside that story. For example, that not all crimes are equal, and not all prisoners are crooks. That art redeems. That language transforms. And that people born without a chance deserve a chance to be something better. Maybe words can’t pick their locks, but they can free them from their shackles. And it’s not just the convicts who feel that freedom. It’s all of us.
Opens August 18.
PS: There is a play within this play and it happens to be The Recruiting Officer. See them together for a richer experience of both.
Contains strong language and adult content.
Each actor in Our Country’s Good will play multiple roles. The ensemble is: Kelsey Brennan, Carl Bryant, Nate Burger, Josh Krause, Juan Rivera Lebron, Brian Mani, Cristina Panfilio, Jefferson A. Russell, Andrea San Miguel and Cassia Thompson.
A group of soldiers and criminals have been sent to Australia as part of a recently created penal colony. The conditions are bad all around, as food is scarce for both jailor and jailed, and the punishment for theft is dire. To raise morale (and in hopes of being noticed by the governor), Lieutenant Ralph Clark decides to stage a production of Farquhar’s comedy The Recruiting Officer, cast with inmates. But Ralph has his hands full with this group of actors, who are sometimes loveable, sometimes unscrupulous, and always perfectly human. Offering candid conversations about incarceration, gender, race, sex and the redemptive power of art, this play pairs particularly well with The Recruiting Officer. Note: contains strong language and adult themes.
It’s hard to write a note about Our Country’s Good without talking about
race and talking about race is sometimes so hard to do. But this play is
about race, and colonialism, and sexism, and greed, and sex, and regret,
and loss, and pride, and love. So, I guess it’s a play about us. All of us.
There doesn’t seem to be any profound statement on race that fixes the
problem. Instead, change seems to come when we are able to empathize
with one another or see things from the other’s point of view. Theater
affords us the opportunity to actually walk a mile in someone else’s
shoes, speak their language, wear their clothes, love their loves. Theater
is our attempt to understand ourselves better.
Our Country’s Good is an exploration of the darker sides of the
human psyche, into our most basic human desires and of our will to
survive. Timberlake Wertenbaker’s characters are richly drawn and
unapologetically themselves. There is something in each of them to
understand and to loathe. The casting of this production reflects our
desire to see if we can know each other a little better by walking a mile
in another person’s shoes, if only on the boards. In the play, art acts as
a kind of savior for the fragile colony. I wonder if it can do the same
And, I hope it entertains!