When Madison-based visual artist Randall Berndt started experimenting with illustrated letters three years ago, he never thought his exploration of the relationship between narrative and image would somehow wind up on stage.
However, Saturday and Sunday, November 13 and 14, at 4 pm, the series of illustrated letters he titled Sketchy Ideas will come to life in the latest production from TNW Ensemble Theater. Performances will take place in the companys fully accessible studio theater at 1957 Winnebago Street, at Schenks Corners.
As Berndts drawings are shown through rear-screen projection, four actors, Liz Light, Andrew Lonsdale, Daniel Torres-Rangel, and NayMyo Win, share Berndts droll perspectives on everything from the secret life of plants to extravagant thinking in a time of plague. Violinist Paran Amirinazari underscores and enhances the words and images, making this a thoroughly mixed media event.
Admission is $20 and includes refreshments. To maintain social distancing, seating is limited to 25 people at each show. Masks and proof of vaccination are required before entering. Contact TNW Ensemble Theater, 608.244.2938 or email@example.com for information. Tickets are available only online at brownpapertickets.com. There are no hard copy tickets.
Berndts Sketchy Ideas series operates in the tradition of artists letters that flourished in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and Berndt sent his own missives across the country. The production came about because Donna Peckett, co-founder and co-producing artistic director of TNW Ensemble Theater, is one of the nearby recipients of Berndts work. After enjoying Berndts mailings for years, one day she decided, More people need to see these, and the show began to take shape.
A studio artist, Berndt is a former curator of the James Watrous Gallery in the Overture Center and worked as an art conservator in the Wisconsin State Capitol restoration project. He has designed sets for several of TNW Ensemble Theaters productions. TNW Ensemble Theater was formerly known as TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater.
Sketchy Ideas is generously supported by Richard B. and Marilyn Mazess; Etta Gasport; Bobby Rubenstein; Rose Dot Productions; Dane County Nonprofit Assistance Fund, a component fund of the Madison Community Foundation; and the Neil Allen Peckett Memorial Fund of TNW Ensemble Theater.