“Population 485 On Stage” will be in Stoughton tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. Front page article in the Wisconsin State Journal here. Tickets here.
A note about “Population 485 On Stage”: I don’t care much for the way we (I include myself) tend to divvy people up, arts-wise. I often have to convince folks in the arts world that yep, some people who enjoy demolition derbies and own blaze orange hunting gear also read books. On the flip side, I sometimes have to convince some of my demo derby cohort that yes some NPR listeners also know how to fix a carburetor or frame up a house. So I assume nothing about nobody, if you’ll allow me the vernacular. That said, every time we perform “Population 485 On Stage,” I am approached in the signing line afterward by someone wearing a fire department ball cap who shakes my hand and says this is the first time he or she has attended a play. Or sometimes they just say, “I don’t usually go to things like this.” But they’re pleased because someone has tried to convey what they do with accuracy, humor, and heart. I’m a freelancer in the free market, meaning I have implicitly agreed to let my work fall or fly on the merits. Always trying to walk that fine line between promotion and pushy. But if you know a firefighter, paramedic, EMT, or first responder (volunteer or not), please consider letting them know about “Population 485 On Stage” in Stoughton (this Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and Bayfield (August 25). We do our best to tell their story. And you can attend the theatre in jeans and a fire department ball cap. I know I will.
This article in the Isthmus by Andy Moore goes in-depth and personal on some of the history behind putting together the stage version of Population 485, including the first person who told me the book should be a play, and how I holed up in Norb Blei’s chicken coop to get it done. We’ll be taking the play to Stoughton, Wisconsin, this week and up to Bayfield next week.
In this episode’s monologue – delivered from the backstage dressing room with the one lonely little lightbulb burnin’ –Mike describes a small town literary event and the poetry of diesel engines. Then – in clodhopper terms – he defines the Big Dang Word “deleterious.”