The comedy takes audiences on tour of “the most messed up town in America” as viewed from the imaginary television broadcast of WMOG TV with hosts Jim Pickle and Babs Buttlebee. From a dooms-day inventor to a police interrogation of the sweetest middle school teacher you’d ever meet, to strange appearances by reporters on location, Jim and Bab’s “Action News” show delivers all the important news of the day.
Student director Austin Brentlinger, originally from Twin Bridges, Mont. directs the play and calls it “a sort of Saturday Night Live on steroids.” With a switch of a hat or by donning a mustache, each of the six actors appear in a variety of roles. Montana Western’s drama program is unique in that it provides undergraduate students the opportunity to direct and design “full size” productions, with the guidance of theatre faculty. Brentlinger is the fourth student director in the Bank of Commerce Performing Arts Series since its inception.
Collaborating with Brentlinger and fellow students Sean Bahnmiller and Taylor Treasure, technical director and faculty member Marcus Todd created bizarre set pieces and an array of background screen projections. Students Michael Grover and Zachary Peterson head sound and light design, with teams of students also managing costumes and props under the supervision of Professor Judy Ulrich. Student Ron Shropshire, a senior from Phoenix, is serving as stage manager.
“This is a great conclusion to our academic year,” said Ulrich. “It’s an hour of fun commentary on the news media and on all of us when we take ourselves too seriously.”
Additional support for this play and all of the 2018-19 theatre productions was provided by ASUMW/Student Senate. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and free for Montana Western students. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (406) 683-7422.