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Pictured: EXTREMITIES (No Spoilers)

Photos taken by Kirt Graves during dress rehearsal for Studio Players’ Extremities on Monday, October 20, 2014. Pictured are Michelle Jorgensen (Marjorie), Mike Roehl (Raul), Jennifer Schleinz (Terry), and Koral Rose Curkeet (Patricia).

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Meet the Cast: Bang, Marry, Kill with the cast of EXTREMITIES

The cast of Extremities sat down to discuss what it’s like working with one another, and then they had to play a game of Bang, Marry, Kill. “This is really awkward,” said Michelle Jorgensen. We know, and we hope you enjoy.

Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.

EXTREMITIES Live Tweet Event!

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On Wednesday, October 22, an esteemed collection of the theatre community and active tweeters came together to LIVE TWEET the final dress rehearsal of Studio Players’ Extremities. The best of their comments are below. (Read from bottom to top for chronological order.) Join the fun by tweeting your thoughts after seeing the show using #SheboyganExtremities.

Anatomy of a Fight Scene: Raul’s Attack in EXTREMITIES

Sheboygan Theatre Company Managing Director Tom Berger walks us through the creation of a fight scene for the upcoming Extremities through Studio Players. As an integral part of the show, the violence in Extremities must be rehearsed so that the audience can be convinced but the actors remain safe.

Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.

Meet the Cast: Jennifer Schleinz

JenSchleinz_colorName: Jennifer Schleinz

Role: Terry

Last seen in: Mad Cap 24 Hour Play Festival, Laramie Project (Studio Players), Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Li’l Abner, Odd Couple (STC)

Who is your character in Extremities, and what’s challenging about bringing him/her to life?

I play Terry. The challenge and reason I auditioned to play her is how different she is from myself. I view her both as the weakest yet most practical of the women. I believe the other women see her as a push over but she has moments of clarity and strength that I admire.

What aspects of your character are part of you?

I think that Terry seems to control how much of herself she lets people see or connect with. Her relationships need to be on her terms. She is fun but not terribly responsible.

Extremities was written and performed in the early 1980s. Is the subject matter still relevant today? How has the conversation about rape & assault changed in the last 20 years?

The subject matter, sadly, has not changed much in the last 20 years. I think the way we see victims has not changed enough. I think everything is easier to talk about now than 20 years ago but many of the opinions have not changed. I think there is an openness to discuss rape and other important issues but a lot of stereotypes to overcome. I believe that people still blame the victim as a way of feeling safe…of distancing themselves from the possibility that they could be victims…to be able to tell themselves “It happened to her but won’t happen to me because I don’t ____”

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue from the play?

“You want ME to pay for his medicine?”

How is this show different from other shows you’ve done?

Most of the shows I have done have been musicals or comedies. I love the chance to bring to life a show that is relevant and uncomfortable in an important way. I am sure that each of us has a friend or relative who has experienced some form of assault.

What is the audience going to be thinking about as they drive home after seeing this show?

I hope there is thought or discussion on the aftermath of the act. It does not end once it is done. The victim has to live with the decisions she or he made as well as deal with the act itself. The main thing for everyone to remember is there is no right or wrong way to react or feel or survive.

 

Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.

Meet the Cast: Koral Rose Curkeet

koralcurkeetheadshotName: Koral Rose Curkeet

Role: Patricia

Last seen in: Roz Keith in  9 to 5: The Musical & Mrs. Corney in Oliver (STC)

Who is your character in Extremities, and what’s challenging about bringing him/her to life?

Patricia…is so different from any I’ve portrayed. I’m used to being larger-than-life (in my theatrical roles as well as my own personality) and Patricia is calm and more controlled. It’s an exciting challenge.

What aspects of your character are part of you?

Patricia is a nurturing person. I too have nurturing qualities. Also, after years as a charge nurse, the “take control” aspect is comfortable to me.

How is this show different from other shows you’ve done?

Being a singer, I am used to fluff roles. Don’t get me wrong, I love musicals, but most of those characters are a bit 2 dimensional. Marjorie, Patty and Terry could be your old roommates or friends. What they say, how they interact, it feels like real life.

Extremities was written and performed in the early 1980s. Is the subject matter still relevant today? How has the conversation about rape & assault changed in the last 20 years?

Yes! The issues remain the same. It’s scary to think that 97% of rapists are never incarcerated. And … I was surprised about this fact … most college students think 50% of rape claims are false, but the reality is only 2 – 8%. You’d think we’d be more knowledgeable with how connected we are to the internet and the many shows such as Special Victims Unit. If CSI can teach us “how to get away with murder”, why can’t SVU help educate our society on the facts of rape?

Have your personal views on sexual assault been challenged since being cast? If so, how?

No. I know too many people who have first hand knowledge of this. I’ve seen the damage it can cause years afterwards. There are some wounds that never heal. You just hide it away, smile, move on and accept it as a normal part of life.

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue from the play?

“I don’t want to flinch when a man touches me. I won’t wear a goddamn whistle.”

What is the audience going to be thinking about as they drive home after seeing this show?

Hopefully they’ll be more knowledgeable about this subject. Maybe leave wondering what they would do in the same situation.

 

Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.

Meet the Cast: Mike Roehl

MikeRoehl_colorName: Mike Roehl

Role: Raul

Last seen in: Laramie Project Sylvia (Studio Players), Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940’sEscanaba in da Moonlight (STC)

Who is your character in Extremities, and what’s challenging about bringing him/her to life?

I portray Raul. The quick and simple answer is…I’m not a rapist. That aside, the script allows for many different choices that an actor could make. These choices are challenging when [considering] power and control vs. sexual deviance.

What aspects of your character are part of you?

Raul can display a “softer” side as he tries to manipulate others. Albeit insincere on his part, I’d like to believe that side of ME is sincere.

What has been your favorite role to play on stage? Why?

I’ve had the privilege to portray many wonderful characters over the years. It’s difficult to chose just one. However, the role of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life stands out for several reasons. Personally, I love Christmas and it was an opportunity to tell a classic Christmas story. It was a character that challenged my abilities and truly helped me grow as an actor. It was also the first play / role I did in which people took me aside and told me they not only enjoyed the show but, it touched them emotionally, on many personal levels.

What’s your dream role to play on stage? Why?

I’m not sure where or how it got started but, I’ve always had a fascination with The Three Musketeers. I’d like to portray one of them. The period, style, and stage combat would be challenging and exciting.

How is this show different from other shows you’ve done?

The language and violence….Way over the top from anything else I’ve done.

What is the audience going to be thinking about as they drive home after seeing this show?

“I’m glad we didn’t bring the kids”

 

Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.

EXTREMITIES Playwright William Mastrosimone is a master of the modern drama

William Mastrosimone Photo Credit G. Paul Burnett/ The New York Times 30 July 2006

“In May of 1978 I met a fifty-five year old woman. For convenience, let’s call her Mary. Her face was cut, swollen and bruised. I didn’t realize it then, but our conversation would alter the course of my life.”

So begins the account of writing Extremities by playwright William Mastrosimone found in the script provided by Samuel French. The Emmy-award-winning writer and Extremities playwright shares the story of meeting Mary, who had been raped when she startled a nineteen year old burglar who had entered her home in the middle of the night. Mastrosimone details the humiliating process that Mary endured to report the assault, identify her assailant, and tell her story in front of a judge and jury. Her attacker was charming and appeared clean cut. While there was evidence of a rape, there was not enough evidence to prove that he had committed the crime.

As Mary’s attacker left the courtroom, he threatened her again. She lived in fear, until one night she bought a plane ticket to the other side of the country so she could feel safe. Before leaving, she visited Mastrosimone. He writes:

On her way to the airport, Mary stopped by to say goodbye to me. If she hadn’t, “Extremities” would not exist. She thanked me for listening. We shook hands and parted. As she walked through the door, something possessed her to stop and turn and say: “There was a moment during the rape when the animal stopped and reached for one of my cigarettes on the night table . . . He couldn’t reach it . . . He put one foot on the floor . . . At that moment I knew I could kick him and hurt him . . . The moment waited for me . . . But I just lay there . . . Paralyzed . . . Maybe it was that I was just brought up not to hurt anybody . . . Maybe it was that I was too afraid that if I didn’t hurt him enough, he’d kill me . . . I don’t know . . . I did nothing . . . He lit a cigarette, raped me again and then beat me with a lamp . . . I will think about that moment for the rest of my life . . . I will fantasize about what would have happened . . . No I can see myself hurting him . . . And hurting him some more . . . It’s hard for me to admit that I love to hear his scream . . . I should have acted . . . I would’ve got real justice . . . Not to act is to have to live with a coward for the rest of your life . . . If I had five minutes in a locked room with him now . . . ”

Mary did not finish her sentence. Extremities was written to fill in the blank she left.

william mastrosimone

William Mastrosimone displays his awards during a visit to his alma mater, Rider University. Photo Credit: The Rider News, 20 Sept 2007

Mastrosimone began writing Extremities at midnight that night and had completed the script before 3:00 p.m. Over the course of several years, he struggled to get the play produced professionally, and so Extremities found its legs in amateur productions — some of which were protested or had to fight off attempts to ban the work. After several more community theatre productions, it moved to a prestigious regional theatre, then Broadway and eventually became a movie.

Mastrosimone has also found success in other mediums tackling other difficult subject matter. Following an incident at his son’s school, he wrote Bang, Bang You’re Dead, a play about school violence which was later adapted for television and for which Mastrosimone won two Emmy awards. He also wrote Into the West and The Burning Season, both of which were also nominated for Emmys.

Ultimately, though, Mastrosimone considers himself a playwright. “In theater, you can do as you please. You don’t reach a lot of people, but smart people go to theater and you’re reaching the smart people,” said Mastrosimone in a 2007 interview that appeared in his college newspaper.†

Extremities will be performed October 23-25 at the Paradigm Annex in Sheboygan. Tickets are $10.00 and are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee and Music.

 

† “Theater Talk: From Struggling writer to Emmy winner, Mastrosimone returns to his roots,” Jessica Decina, The Rider News 20 Sept 2007

Meet the Cast: Michelle Jorgensen


Michelle Head ShotName: 
Michelle Jorgensen

Role: Marjorie

Last seen in: Mad Cap 24 Hour Play Festival, Van’s Sister in Dog Sees God (Studio Players), Shelby in Steel Magnolias (STC), Lexington in Classic Eight (Mad Yarn Theater Company), Elizabeth in Laundry & Bourbon (Studio Players)

Who is your character in Extremities, and what’s challenging about bringing him/her to life?

I get to play Marjorie. Besides being a physically demanding role, the hardest part is playing a victim of assault in such a way that pays respect to actual victims of assault.

What aspects of your character are part of you?

Marjorie doesn’t follow the rules. Instead of doing what she is “supposed to do,” she does what she feels is right. I like to think I do the same.

What has been your favorite role to play on stage? Why?

Probably Shelby in Steel Magnolias. The cast and crew were amazing and I love any role where I get to use a southern accent.

Extremities was written and performed in the early 1980s. Is the subject matter still relevant today? How has the conversation about rape & assault changed in the last 20 years?

Unfortunately, yes, it is still relevant. Sexual assault is still prevalent in 2014 and seeking justice through the system is often a painful, humiliating process for the victim.

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue from the play?

I like Marjorie’s line, “I want him to hurt like me,” because it is such a simple yet profound statement. People who commit acts of violence do so because they have experienced acute suffering themselves. This statement eloquently describes how and why the cycle of violence is perpetuated.

What is the audience going to be thinking about as they drive home after seeing this show?

After watching these characters make hard decisions under extreme circumstances, they will be thinking, “What would I have done?”

 

Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.

Meet the Director: Shari Roehl

shari_headshotName: Shari Roehl

Role: Director

Last seen in: Stage Manager for 9 to 5: The Musical at Sheboygan Theatre Company, Director for Shirley Valentine

Extremities was written and performed in the early 1980s. Is the subject matter still relevant today? How has the conversation about rape & assault changed in the last 20 years?

This subject matter is extremely relevant. The Extremities characters bring to life the current way we deal with assault and its victims: make up a story that will be believed, if you have no marks it isn’t assault, offenders don’t get prosecuted as often as they should, women ask for it. It is truly a shame that assault [victims] suffer this kind of assault.

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue from the play?

“What do people do with things in a fireplace?”

“Hey, wait a minute…..”

This exchange gives the audience a chance to giggle.

How is this show different from other shows you’ve done?

The major difference between Extremities and Shirley Valentine is that there is more opportunities to laugh in Shirley. The subject matter is virtually the same, women don’t have to just be the victims in their lives. Both plays [are] very thought provoking in many ways.

What is the audience going to be thinking about as they drive home after seeing this show?

I hope they leave thinking what would I have done if it were me? I hope this discussion is was she right/justified? Ultimately, I want reflection on how to treat each others better, all around.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about buying a ticket to Extremities?

You need to see this show, as difficult as the subject matter is. Good theatre can entertain and make you think at the same time. This is GOOD theatre!

 

Extremities runs October 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paradigm Annex. Tickets are available now online or in person at Paradigm Coffee & Music. This show contains mature themes and is intended for an adult audience.