Theater Stages Play Of Corruption, Power

“The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” a satire examining the nature of power and the tools of fear, corruption and oppression, premieres Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 27, at 9 p.m., all at Westmont’s Porter Theatre. General admission is $12; $7 for students, children and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at  The performance is intended for junior high students or older due to adult themes.

German playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,”set during the Great Depression of the 1930s in gangster-filled Chicago, as a response to the rise of Hitler and fascism.

“We are using some new technology in the theater department to have both video projections and a live camera feed on the stage during the performance,” says director Mitchell Thomas. “The use of projections and devices that help estrange audiences from the illusion of the play are core elements of a Brechtian theater. Brecht’s plays were written to entertain but also to challenge and provoke us into thinking about our own lives in relationship to the stories depicted.  I think audiences will enjoy the fascinating mix of comedy, live music, highly theatrical performances, and hard-hitting ideas and themes.”

More than 30 Westmont students participate in the performance of the play. The production, which features a live seven-piece jazz ensemble, begins each evening with a sing-along of music from the period at 7:15 p.m.