Eye-catching Montana map art illustrates one-act festival

We went to Sacrifice Cliff Theatre Co.’s “New Works Festival” Friday night and recommend it wholeheartedly.

It consists of 10 one-act plays of about 10 minutes each, all on the theme of “Welcome to Montana.” We have already described the plays in an earlier story, and will add here only that the plays, short as they are, cover a lot of ground and a lot emotional territory.

There is broad humor, philosophical musing, high drama, absurdity, lacerating satire and even a play without words, a drama of movement and music that manages to pack a wallop.

And since the plays hit the boards in rapid succession, the sets are kept as simple as possible. What really caught our eye were the works of art that stayed on the walls for all the performances. They consist of Montana road maps, or fragments of maps, altered with illustrations, collages and attached objects.

Theater company co-founder Patrick Wilson said the idea of using maps to illustrate the plays came from Theresa Sawkela, a design student at Rocky Mountain College, who also contributed one of the illustrated maps. The artists were given a little direction and a lot of freedom.

“We said, ‘Pick a title (of one of the plays) as your jumping-off point,'” Wilson said. “And some of them jumped really far.”

We offer up photos of all the map art above, hoping they might inspire you to attend the festival, which has its last two performances next weekend—Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Studio 6, formerly Room 620 of the Liberal Arts building on the MSUB campus. Tickets are pay what you will, but reservations are recommended.

For reservations or more information, call 672-9291 or write to sacrificecliff@gmail.com.

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