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Talking Art with Shelley Cooper

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The acclaimed production The Threepenny Opera, written by Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann, will be performed May 5-8, 2022, on the Brunner Main Stage Theatre at Augustana College.

Set in Victorian London, the antihero character Mack the Knife pursues Polly Peachum while simultaneously attempting to elude the police and a collection of other nefarious characters. This play continues to resonate nearly a century after its original production due to the universality of the issues it confronts: the corruption that can arise from unchecked capitalism, and the diligence by which societies need to counteract it.

The musical score was written by Kurt Weill. Several of the ballads, in particular “Mack the Knife” and “Pirate Jenny,” have transcended genres and time to become well-recognized jazz standards.

Listen to the conversation here with Shelley Cooper, Director of The Threepenny Opera and Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Augustana College, about the underlying themes of this production, the playwright Bertolt Brecht’s conception of epic theatre, and the important lessons that students learn from immersing themselves in musical theatre.

Performances will be held Thurs May 5, Fri May 6, and Sat May 7, 2022, at 7:30 PM and Sun May 8, 2022, at 1:30 PM. Tickets can be obtained online or by calling the box office at (309) 794-7306.

The Brunner Theatre Center is located at 3750 7th Avenue in Rock Island, IL.

Carolyn Martin joined WVIK as a host of Talking Art in 2017. A long-time fan of NPR programming with a love of storytelling and all art forms, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with creative people who beautify our community and make the Quad Cities region an even better place to live.