Locally written and produced play 'Break A Leg' to debut in De Pere

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The cast of the all-original play 'Break A Leg' rehearses in De Pere.

Who doesn't love work-place drama? Water-cooler talk? That is just what "Break A Leg," an original local play, is all about.

Think the sitcom The Office meets the stage. This all-new play tells the story of a play, that loses it's leading lady right before opening night. The characters...sure are characters. Each one with a strikingly different personality and a different role in the play: a superstitious actor, a silent stage manager, frustrated costume and makeup hands, just to name a few.

Producer and co-creator of the show, Tim Killian said the show begins with, Liz, an actress from another theater troupe taking over the vacant role on opening night.

"She has to meet this group of people she's never worked with before and be thrown right into a performance atmosphere," said Killian. "The entire show takes place backstage while the show is going on."

Jehy Thompson, who plays Liz, says as her character is experiencing this new group of people, so is the audience.

"Her function is we get to learn about the characters through Liz, the audience learns about them through her because she's experiencing them for the first time along with the audience," said Thompson.

This original play took a total of four years for local writers Killian and his partner, Bryan Siebers to finalize. Killian calls it a "labor of love" based off of real life scenarios that he and Siebers have experienced throughout their 20 years in theater.

"All the stories and experiences that we've had, we kind of filtered it into this show," said Killian

So what situation happened to him? Well....the plot!

"The main plot point of the leading lady quitting the night before opening night, I was in a show where that happened."

And it's not just the situations that are based off of Killian and Siebers' theater history, it's the people too.

All nine cast members are based (or loosely) based on people that the pair have met through their theater history.

"One of the characters is not loosely based off someone.... it is verbatim this person," Killian chuckled.

When asked if this said person knows? He smiled and replied, "He does."

"We've met all types of folks and we both have a lot of stories to tell."

This is Thompson's first show in the Green Bay area. With the show being based mainly off people Killian has experienced in his time involved in Green Bay theater, Thompson said that it's been fun hearing these stories, because they're what you would find anywhere.

"It's fun because every theater group, you get this everywhere, weather it's a group or not, it's almost a given that you will work with people you've worked with before or you'll work with someone and they've worked with another person before," she said. "You are going to hear the stories whether you've been a part of that story, you were there or you've heard it for the one thousandth time."

Working with people is something everyone experiences, one way or another. It doesn't have to be theater to have some of these same personalities and stories, which is why Killian thinks anyone can enjoy this show.

"There are some inside stuff that theater people would get a kick out of, anyone who has ever done theater, on any level but ultimately I'd say anyone who has ever worked in an office building, worked with different types of people," said Killian. "Have you ever gone to Thanksgiving dinner that has gotten a little awkward because there are these different types that you have to interact with? That's who this show would appeal to."

Break A Leg will make it's world debut at the Broadway Theater in De Pere Aug. 2, 3, & 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased here or by calling (920) 445-5669

Cast includes:

Ian Wisneski

Jehy Thompson

Lyle Becker

Mark Jackson

Bob Pekol

Tammy Verbrick

Katie Schroeder

David Harper

Mike Eserkaln

Crew includes:

Hannah Blecha- stage manager

Maggie Dernehl- backstage coordinator

Chloe Ledvina- sound design

Jackie Ploor- Hair and makeup

Break A Leg was written and produced by Tim Killian and Bryan Siebers