The West Side Show Room announces the first play in its new performance space on Rockford’s northwest side.
Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus tells the story of Boone County, Illinois native John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Powell led a crew of nine men on a four month journey down the most dangerous sections of the river, navigating boulders, whirlpools, and waterfalls, as well as the loss of most of their supplies.
Based on the journals of the men who went, the play portrays this testosterone-fueled physical adventure with all of the male characters played by women.
“Seeing female actors in the roles provides a context to the story,” said director Mike Werckle. “It’s wildly comedic, skewering the stereotype of the colonialist explorer– but it also shows the humanity of these men as they endure extraordinary circumstances.
Many epic scenes of the boats rowing down the river are portrayed in the play, requiring actors to manipulate four mini prop rowboats in a convincing but humorous manner.
All tickets are free through The West Side Show Room’s Open Ticket program. To reserve tickets please visit www.thewssr.org or call (815) 708-8411.
Time: Thursdays 7 p.m. | Fridays 8 p.m. | Saturdays 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. | Sundays 6 p.m.
Price: Tickets are free, reserve online