Claire Nowak

On Stage, the Scandal at TKE Fraternity…

UWM Theater Dept’s Milwonky Too! (Sex, Drugs, and D2L) explores the recent, real-life campus drama.

By - Oct 16th, 2014 05:12 pm
Milwonky Too! (Sex, Drugs, and D2L)

Milwonky Too! (Sex, Drugs, and D2L)

The UW-Milwaukee theater department is putting on six performances of a new production called Milwonky Too! (Sex, Drugs, and D2L), but actually the cast will never perform the same show twice.

How exactly does that work? Milwonky Too! uses a performance style called devised theatre. Director Alvaro Saar Rios came up with a rough outline for the production’s plot, but cast members created individual scenes. Since they rely heavily on improvisation, the dialogue will be slightly different at each show.

“We had to keep it fresh, keep it new, try not to get stuck,” says Emilie Rackovan, a freshman cast member studying theater. “There are certain lines that we want to keep, but we try to change it up every day and keep it fresh.” And “that’s hard,” he adds.

The play opens on a small town boy fittingly named Smalls (Louie Glotselty) who decides to leave his home to attend a university in Milwaukee (The name is never specified, but UWM is implied). From there, he encounters the reality of collegiate life, complete with positives and negatives.

“It’s not just like everything’s happy and good and rainbows,” Rackovan says.

The negative sides of college life include controversial topics that are quite relevant to the campus, including financial aid issues and the recent Tau Kappa Epsilon scandal at UWM. Members of that fraternity are suspected of putting “date rape” drugs into alcoholic beverages during a party at the fraternity house in September. They also reportedly drew red Xs on the hands of “hot girls,” to single them out.

“We were trying to figure out what was going too far,” Rackovan says, “because we don’t want to make people uncomfortable, but at the same time, we want to be real.”

News of the police investigation of TKE broke after rehearsals already started. The cast felt it was important to include in the show.

“We’re not going to make fun of it in a sense. We’re going to be very real about it and let people make their own judgments,” Rackovan says.

“Milwonky Too!” is a pseudo-sequel to last year’s devised theater performance, “Milwonky Style.” Rios first developed the idea during a conversation he had in grad school. He asked someone where he was from, and the response sounded like “Milwonky,” not “Milwaukee.” When he was devising a show about going to college in Milwaukee last year, he thought Milwonky would be a fitting title. With the success of “Milwonky Style,” Rios decided to reprise the basic idea this season.

Rackovan and 15 other UWM students make up the cast, though few have named characters. They switch roles as needed for different scenes, usually through a quick, subtle costume change.

The cast is fairly diverse, with ages ranging from 18-year-old Rackovan to a 29-year-old junior and some non-theater majors (in urban studies and creative writing). But the group has worked well together, says Rackovan.

“Everyone was so willing to just try things,” she says. “At first, we were a little self-conscious but eventually we’re just like, “let’s just go for it.’ It was really cool to see how creative people are and to work together as a team.”

And Rackovan has loved every minute of it. “I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s done because I’ve just been having the time of my life,” she says. “It’s my favorite show I’ve ever done.”

Oct. 17- Oct. 19 at Kenilworth Studio 508 on UWM’s campus. General admission is $10 with senior and student discounts available. Tickets available online or by calling 414-229-4308.

0 thoughts on “Theater: On Stage, the Scandal at TKE Fraternity…”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am VERY concerned about this. This is attacking a student group that the police have not charged with drugging anyone, The university has not said has drugged anyone and the people that were wrongly accused have had their lives turned upside down for something they did not do.

    This is unjust and flat out wrong. Yes they served underage people alcohol. Yes the president apparently had drugs in his personal room. That is the whole story. The rest is made up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You guys suck for doing this because the bust never proved any of that and yeah it was an out of hand party at a fraternity that under agers got drunk….they are all adults and now you are going to make a bunch of kids who did nothing wrong look like crap at your play….good on you…get some new material.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think a topic like TKE is bad move. You are using a bad media report to come up and further propagate falsehoods. The UWM Police have not concluded any investigation yet you will use a rumor as fact. Shame

  4. Anonymous says:

    Most f*cked up thing I have ever heard of. You poke fun of a serious topic and singly point out date rape drugs(which TKE has been cleared of), the X’s were not given to hot girls but to everyone who attended. The chances of getting the black to the red X was by pure chance of what marker was picked up. The X’s were used to check people in. If you wanted to talk about the potential of drugs or even date rape drugs by going to parties and the severity of it, fine, but you singly pointed out TKE. A Fraternity that was cleared of said charges.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can’t we just do Macbeth and not offend anyone?

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