Star News - January 25, 2005

'Ubu's' opening Friday at Zabee

The Zabee Theater stage at Elk River High School will come to life this weekend with a collection of three short plays that walk the line between political farce and childish buffoonery.

The public performances will be at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 28 and 29) at Zabee Theater.

The "Ubu Plays" by Jeff Goode all star Ubu, who in the first set finds himself crowned the King of Poland, even though he didn't do anything to get there.

"It's a lot of fun," said Ron Giroux, who plays the one-time King of Poland who eventually gets ousted only to later find himself in America making a run for even higher office. "It's pretty over the top.

"Ubu is obnoxious and pretty stupid, really. He embodies all of the seven deadly sins."

Co-starring is Kristina Waln, who plays Ubu's seductive wife.

"It's original," said Waln, who puts thoughts in Ubu's head to get what she wants. "It's unique and there's a lot of great action in this play. It's really fun and full of energy.

"I didn't expect to get this role, but I definitely wanted it."

The cast has been working diligently on its vocal projection and does not use any sound augmentation.

The first of the three plays doubles as the drama program's entrance into annual one-act competitions.

The director, Philip Bologna, doesn't know whether it will produce any hardware, but he's optimistic he and his cast and crew have put together a good show.

"I don't know what the (one-act) judges grade you on. But I'm told they like the kind of things we're doing. There's a frenzied pace."

All total there are 19 actors in the one-act competition, some them being inanimate objects on the minimalist set.

"This play is designed to get people involved," Bologna said, noting a few of the parts carry into all three acts but many other actors are called upon all the way on down to some eighth graders.

Giroux is an interesting study, having to be fetched out of his physics class on occasion for play practice. Second in his class currently, Giroux is considering schools out east to further his study of the arts.

Auditions for the spring musical, slated to be "The Sound of Music," are on Feb. 1 and 3. Students will audition in three phases -reading, singing and choreography.