Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department to Present Political Theater Piece ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ March 1-3, 8-10

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Theatre and Dance Department will present Bertolt Brecht’s gangster fable “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 1-3 and 8-10, in the Spanos Theatre on campus. 

“‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ is a clever and frightening satire about the rise of a demagogue; a compelling, cautionary tale ripe for our current times,” said Josh Machamer, chair of the Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department and director of the production. 

The piece is set in 1930s Chicago, where the events of the Great Depression have laid waste to the city’s grocery business, Machamer said. Together, with his band of thugs, Ui’s offer of small-time protection quickly transforms into a menacing grab for absolute power.

“‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is an historical parable in the form of an old-fashioned gangster play,” Machamer said, “written by the 20th century German playwright Bertolt Brecht as a cautionary tale retelling the rise of Adolf Hitler.”

“The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” features the work of Theatre and Dance Department students, faculty and staff, including Thomas J. Bernard, who serves as costume designer; Clint Bryson, technical director; Sarah Bryan, costume shop supervisor; and new faculty member Brian Healy, scenic and lighting designer. In addition, about 40 students from a variety of majors are contributing to the production through construction, backstage work, management, publicity and performance.

Tickets are $20 for the public and $12 for students, senior citizens and children. Tickets are available through the Performing Arts Ticket Office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849). 

The performance is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Theatre and Dance Department, College of Liberal Arts, and Instructionally Related Activities Program.

- Theatre and Dance Department:
- College of Liberal Arts:

About the Cal Poly Theatre Program
The mission of the Theatre Arts Program at Cal Poly is to provide students with a foundation in the theory and practice of theatre. Through academic instruction, hands-on activities, and supervised training, students will develop knowledge of the various aspects of theatre: history, dramatic literature, playwriting, performing, production, directing, design, and administrative practices. The program is delivered within a liberal arts framework, intended to advance the value of collaboration at all levels of study and designed to produce not only theatre artists with strong written and verbal skills but also globally minded citizens prepared to enter into a variety of fields. 

About the Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department
The Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department provides students programs of study that integrate practical production work with theater and dance principles, theory and historical development. The department also acts as a cultural focus for the campus and San Luis Obispo community. Each year the department presents three main-stage theater productions, the Orchesis Dance Company production, and a student-directed dance concert, all showcasing the department’s importance in realizing the university’s mission as a comprehensive polytechnic identity.

Contact: Josh Machamer

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