For its first full-length production, Theatre 'd Art wanted do something to set it apart, something to which no other local theater company would attach its name. So founders Brian Mann and Jonathan Margheim chose Shopping and F*cking, (gasp!) an original work by British playwright Mark Ravenhill.
"This play is incredible," says director Laura TimmKreitzer. "It's a mirror to society and the deep, dark parts we like to suppress. The audience will recognize the similarities [in the characters] they'll feel an unease in the familiarity."
Shopping and F*cking explores the shallowness of adult relationships and the emotional detachments people develop while still upholding physical, sexual contacts. In short: These are transactions, not interactions.
Through the play, the four-year-old Theatre 'd Art offers a commentary on people living their lives in the fictional stories they sell themselves, stories that ultimately buffer the pain of reality. It's a message TimmKreitzer wants Colorado Springs to hear.
"This is the home of Ted Haggard," she says. "People need to see this stuff."
Ravenhill, the author, is involved with In-Yer-Face Theatre, a writing style designed to "grab the audience by the scruff of the neck and shake them until they get the message." IYFT has been around for decades, but got its jump-start in the '90s when Sarah Kane penned Blasted and set off theatrical controversy.
IYFT was a welcome change of pace for Timm-Kreitzer, but she isn't directing only for shock value.
"I don't want to offend people who don't want to be awakened," she says. "I don't want Focus on the Family picketing outside the theater. I just want people to think about their superficial lives. Theater is such a powerful tool. The audience is at the mercy of the actors."
Shopping and F*cking
Osborne Studio Theatre in UCCS' University Hall, 3955 Cragwood Drive
Fridays through Sundays, Oct. 5-21, 8 p.m.
Tickets $10 ($5 students, free for UCCS students); call 216-2867 or visit theatredart.org for more information.