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'Wittenberg' travels to 1517 Germany into lives of Hamlet, Faustus, Luther

On September 25, 2018

BY ISAIAH WARREN / VN STAFF WRITER

Detroit Mercy Theatre Company is staging the Michigan premiere of “Wittenberg” beginning Friday, Sept. 28, and running through mid-October.

“Wittenberg,” written by David Davalos, features characters from other plays and history, including Hamlet, Dr. Faustus and Martin Luther, whose lives intersect in 1517 at the University of Wittenberg in Germany.

The production is directed by Dr. Arthur J. Beer, Detroit Mercy’s legendary theatre professor.

Beer, who has been teaching on campus since 1975 and is also an actor and playwright-in-residence, described the play as an intellectual comedy and philosophical fantasy – “a literary lampoon,” he added.

“I don’t know how it has avoided being on Broadway,” he said.

Rehearsals for the Detroit Mercy performances have been underway for several weeks.

A large amount of work has gone into the production.

The seven cast members have been polishing the portrayal of their characters.

Nina Carlson, a student who joined Detroit Mercy Theatre Company in 2017, will be playing Gretchen.

Carlson, who has participated in other productions on the stage and behind the scenes, said she learned her character and how to represent her by reading the scenes.

She decided to try to portray her as someone who is “risky and promiscuous. I try to have an appeal to the audience,” she said.

She describes the play as “very informative and interesting to observe, especially with the debate of religion vs. reason.”

The other student cast members are Roman D’Ambrosio, Dalton Hahn, Christian Plonka and Bridget Smith.

Two professional guest artists, Jonathan Davidson and Dale Dobson, also are in the cast.

Director Beer expressed his joy ar working with all of them.

The play is being staged off campus at the Marlene Boll Theatre, 1401 Broadway, at the YMCA in downtown Detroit.

 

BOX OFFICE INFO

Dates: Sept. 28-30, Oct. 5-7 and Oct. 12-14

Price: $10 for students and veterans, $18 for seniors an $25 for others

Office: The ticket office, in Reno 43, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Phone: 313-993-3270

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