Theatre B and Plains Art Museum to present ‘The Oil Project’

Theatre B and Plains Art Museum are collaborating on a new theatre experience to close the Museum’s Bakken Boom! exhibition. Devised by Theatre B Ensemble Members and Guest Artists, ‘The Oil Project’ chronicles the people and the pumpjacks of the Bakken oil fields.

The production runs Thursday and Friday, August 13 and 14, at noon and 7:00 p.m. both days at Plains Art Museum, located at 704 1st Avenue North in Fargo. Admission is free and open to the public, and audience members are invited to visit the Bakken Boom! galleries directly before or after the performances.

Theatre B’s first devised play, ‘The Oil Project’ is conceived and created by a company of artists who have spent the summer researching, generating, and developing the 45 minute performance.

“It is an incredible rush to create a piece of theatre from scratch,” says Theatre B Program Coordinator Brad Delzer. “Devising a play is a new experience for us. It’s a daunting idea, to expect a performance to be created from a company working and creating for several months. But that’s just what’s happening. The artists have spent countless hours exploring what the boom means to those who live and work there through research, movement, music, and relationships. And from that work, a pretty compelling piece is emerging.”

Part character exploration, part art installation, tied together by sights and sounds that recall the oil rush in Western North Dakota, ‘The Oil Project’ follows several characters across the early years of the boom, through the transformation of the countryside and towns, and up to now, where the possibility of an oil bust looms.

“We are excited to partner with Theatre B and conclude the successful run of Bakken Boom! with a performance piece that enhances the exhibition artworks, many of which provided direct inspiration for the troupe,” said Plains Art Museum Curator Becky Dunham. “Visitors will have a unique immersive experience in ‘The Oil Project.’ You can walk around and view the actors in character at site-specific sets designed and installed for the show.” Bakken Boom! is open through August 15.

Devising Ensemble:
Cole Bartles
Matthew Collie
Brad Delzer*
Matthew Dryburgh
Colin Holter
Mia Miller
Jay Nelson
Chelsea Pace
Pam Strait*
Stage Manager: Blaine Edwards*
Production Manager: Shea Hittman*

* denotes Theatre B Ensemble Member