MENOMONIE — A reading/concert version of a musical by a Menomonie composer-musician Patrick Pesek-Herriges, will premiere Friday, July 26, at the Menomonie Theater Guild, 502 W. Second St.
“YOLUS: Aliens on Artok“ will be staged at 7 p.m. in the Theater Guild’s Black Box Theater.
Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for elders and students, and are available at menomonietheaterguild.com. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the guild.
In a reading/concert, there are no costumes, no choreography and few stage props. Actors have scripts in hand.
Cast members are: Kiara Carlson, Dave Cook, Gavin Hall, Pinckney and Susan Hall, Gary Johnson, Lanna Laird, Barbara Lyon, Isaiah May, Jim Miller, Leslie Norris, Simone Perrin, Mary Riordan, Kory Stuemke, Jax Tharp, SamWeaver and Marlena Weghorn. Light and sound design technicians are Emmett Frett and Dale Freberg.
According to a news release from Pesek-Herriges:
The production is set in the distant future, where a spaceship arrives at planet Artok. Space travelers — multi-generational descendants of the launch team — want to establish a colony. The people of Artok allow a “Sheglo,” eight years of waiting and watching.
The concept of a “space musical” originated on a walk with friends in a New Orleans park during Mardi Gras 1993.
“Maybe the other-cultural energy of NOLA sparked the idea. Or, the walkers were a bit spaced-out,” Pesek-Herriges said, noting that in the years since, he has played with the idea whenever work life allowed.
Many drafts later, with helpful observations of readers and the time benefits of retirement, the author believes it is time for public exposure. The show presents challenging ideas, making it a “PG” in motion picture terms.
The show will be a PP-H Production, hosted by Theater Guild. It will be directed by Pesek-Herriges and cast members, many of whom are stage veterans and members of the guild.
Founded in 1958, the Menomonie Theater Guild is the longest continuing local theater group in Wisconsin.