New Theater Company Takes an Analytical Approach to Entertainment

May 13, 2016

The Company of Strangers Theater is excited to announce preparations for its first Wisconsin-based show of "An Enemy of the People" by Henrik Ibsen.

Recently relocated from the East Coast, The Company of Strangers Theater began in 2009 as a traveling theater company, performing in and around Central VA at a wide variety of venues, from full-fledged theater stages, to churches, to dance studios, to cafes, and even consignment shops, ranging from comedy, to drama, to dinner theater, to walk-throughs, both modern and classic.

The theater began with a vision to bridge the gap between entertainment and philosophy. Behind every great story is an assumption, a belief, and an application. But often, the pursuit of a quick laugh or cheap emotion clouds the ability to analyze the interaction, obscuring the why behind the what. A great theater production is only as great as the relevance to our own lives. The Company desires to teach its audiences how to filter theatrical works through a philosophical and theological worldview lens, which in turn reveals a much deeper, more meaningful message.

Before each production (and also during intermission, broken in two parts), a Company representative will read a short thought-provoking analysis concerning the show about to take place. Examples include the Company's production of "A Doll's House," which explored the nuances of what constitutes a healthy marital relationship; "The Ransom of Red Chief," which taught that a bad child is often the result of lack of parental involvement; "Macbeth," which outlined the depths of pride, and "The Importance of Being Earnest," which tackled the motives behind deceit and the value of honesty. The productions are unaltered and performed in its raw original glory, but the audience is encouraged to look beyond what is in front of them, connecting the story gaps, and making conclusions.

While the Company is Christian in its foundation, its mission is intelligent and ordered entertainment, not evangelism. In addition to a wide-ranged background of audience members, repeat actors and crew members from all ages, cultures, and beliefs have been involved in past Company productions, and the results have been thought-provoking conversation and meaningful, lasting relationships, for the sheer love of logic, ethics, and metaphysics. The Company wants to engage its cast and crew just as much as it engages its audience. Members involved with a production often get into backstage and off-set discussions about social or ethical issues, stretching their minds both to embrace new views and defend their own views better. But discussions always become very secondary up against appreciating the person for who they are within the confines of their shared love of theater, where good chemistry and success hinge upon working together and enjoying each other's company.

"An Enemy of the People", a comedic drama, will explore the components of idealism, reality, conviction, truth, sacrifice, and more. The Company hopes this production coupled with its analysis will stir its audience into doing what is right against convenience or popularity.

Auditions will be held June 6 from 4:30-7:30 at the Milwaukee Public Library at 814 W. Wisconsin Ave. The Company is also looking for those who would like to join The Company's volunteer team for crew work, for this and future productions. More information about this play, as well as blog posts, analysis writings from past plays, and our history and vision, can be found at Also follow on Facebook.

The Company of Strangers Theater hopes to grow, thrive, and contribute much to the theater community in Southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Keep an eye out for future developments.

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