Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


Of Goats and Sylvias

BareBones Ensemble Theatre to mix tragedy and comedy

Anna Field, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Someone forgot to bring snacks to play practice.
Someone forgot to bring snacks to play practice. (A BareBones Ensemble Theatre rehearsal.)

Whoops! The show's been cancelled!

“The show is full of wit and laughs that crash into tragedy, leaving you belly laughing one minute and then struck dumb the next.” These are the words of director Joshua Dolan-Neill about the tragicomedy The Goat or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee, presented by the BareBones Ensemble Theatre. The play is centered around the family of Martin, an architect, who has fallen in love with a goat. “The show plays with what is acceptable and unacceptable in our modern culture as Martin’s family struggles through the aftermath of his affair” says Dolan-Neill. “(Edward Albee) is arguably the father of American absurdist theatre. There is an element of the ridiculous in almost all of his work which is one of the reasons I love reading and directing his work,” says the director about the playwright. Joshua Dolan-Neill is a seasoned director, having directed plays for nearly 20 years. His work with BareBones dates back to 1997. He has directed a number of absurdist plays in the past, “but The Goat has a little bit more realism and is less stylized than some of Albee’s other plays or the plays of European absurdists.” says Dolan-Neill. Dolan-Neill describes the play as straightforward and character-driven, with a simple set, but a play that will entertain and leave the audience thinking and wanting to discuss it. The cast is made up of four BareBones alumni, but a small cast allows the audience to connect with each character, whether they agree with the character or not. This is a play for mature audiences, so Dolan-Neill suggests making it a grown-up date night. “The script is fantastic and powerful, otherwise we wouldn’t do it. That’s the beauty of BareBones – we produce what speaks to us as artists” says Dolan-Neill.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.