Stage Version of Perry Book to Host Pair of Local Preview Shows in EC

Sammy Gibbons

A Population: 485 rehearsal. Photo: Jake Lindgren
A Population: 485 rehearsal. Photo: Jake Lindgren

Local author Michael Perry has become nationally renowned for his New York Times bestselling novel, Population: 485. This book chronicles a man’s return to his hometown of New Auburn and his experience as a volunteer firefighter. Readers are treated to a thorough look of an American small town through Perry’s expert lenses. Now, this story of Midwestern life is going to be brought to life on stage. The grand premiere show will take place at the Big Top Chautaqua, a massive blue tent theater in Bayfield, Wisconsin, on Aug. 28. However, Eau Claire gets the opportunity to put the production in the spotlight before it reaches the official stage. Two preview shows will be held at the Kjer Theatre, which is next to Zorn Arena on the UW-Eau Claire campus, on Aug. 22 and 23. General admission tickets are $10, and can only be purchased at the doors, which open at 6pm; performances start at 7:30pm. The play features local talent in all aspects: Jake Lindgren, of Downstage Left, directs the play, which features Perry himself in the cast and other Chippewa Valley performers, and original music by Sean Carey of S. Carey and Bon Iver. Yet another unmissable compilation of Eau Claire artistry coming about this summer!