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Splash! School of Theatre and Dance to present NIU professor’s ‘Los Angeles! … is Underwater’

February 21, 2012

Photo of a tidal waveThe West Coast is transferred in all its glitz and glory to the Midwest in this crazy new production by the NIU School of Theatre and Dance.

“Los Angeles! …Is Underwater,” written by SoTD faculty member Luke Krueger, is the next Studio Series production of their season and will open Thursday, March 1.

Krueger, who also directed “Los Angeles! …Is Underwater,” says that his work has been compared to “South Park.”

“I call it hyper-realism,” Krueger says, explaining that his work contains extreme characters, but that people will recognize them. “The audience will think, ‘That’s not quite how people are, but it’s close.’ ”

The premise of “Los Angeles! …Is Underwater” is that a tidal wave wipes out Hollywood, and the Midwest becomes the new center for movie stars. The persona of the West Coast begins to invade the region in strange ways.

A bizarre mix of characters show up, each with a definite idea of what the ideal new actor should be.

Krueger explains that one of his main characters, Chastity, is an Indiana native and artistic idealist, and very unhappy with the sudden influx of actors. She despises artistic “sell-outs,” people who compromise their art for a big paycheck, believing that pure art cannot be mainstream.

“I think we’ve all been through that, where we see something that’s avant-garde, and it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I liked that,’ ” Krueger says, “and you really didn’t – you hated it.”

His play also takes aim at fanatic leaders, like acting gurus. Krueger satirizes the school of thought that promotes actors going to extremes to “become” their character. Some actors actually hurt themselves trying to get into character, says Krueger, when it’s supposed to be acting.

Still actively writing, Krueger has already published his next play, “Copyright Sullivan: The Place Where People Come to Die,” which will be available for sale for $5 at all performances of “Los Angeles!…is Underwater!” All proceeds will benefit the SoTD Student Advisory Committee.

“Los Angeles! …Is Underwater” will run Thursday, March 1, through Sunday, March 4, in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre. Weeknight and Saturday performances start at 8 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and available only at the door.

For more information, call (815) 753-1600 or email [email protected].