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New BITE production of ‘episodic theatre’ opens Friday

March 11, 2013

The student-run Beloit Independent Theater Experience is back this semester, bigger and better than ever before. BITE is bringing a number of performances to campus this semester, and their first project is starting up this week.

Based on the HBO series of the same name, In Treatment is an experimental project that hopes to accomplish something new—what directors Patrick Firme’13 and Savvas Mourtzis’06 refer to as episodic theatre.  Beginning Friday (March 15), the series will perform twice every weekend (Friday and Saturday) through April 20. However, each weekend will be a different episode, or session, between the characters of Laura, the patient and her therapist, Paul as she visits him over a six-week period of time. To make things even more interesting, different actors will portray the two characters in every episode. The storyline will stay the same throughout the series as the relationship between Laura and Paul builds, giving the audience a different way of seeing the characters through each performance.

The goal of episodic theatre is to build an audience with the same snowball effect as a television show. One group watches the first episode, and more for the next one and so on until the audience is larger than ever for the final episode. There will be a summary of the previous sessions between Paul and Laura for those who come for the first time and have not seen any of the earlier episodes. Lastly, it will not be a huge time commitment since each episode will be between 22 and 28 minutes, similar to an actual television show.

The first episode premieres this Friday at 7 p.m. in the C-Haus. The episodes are directed primarily by Firme and Mourtzis, with guest directors a couple of weeks. Be sure to catch the first episode with friends. If you miss the performance Friday night it will play again on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in C-Haus.