The Art of the Entertainer

A Vaudevillian Extravaganza
by Brandt Roberts

July 4 – August 1

The Commonweal Theatre proudly presents Brandt Roberts’ beloved tour de force homage to the vaudeville stage and the early years of the silver screen, The Art of the Entertainer, in its new format—streaming video!

Please sit back and enjoy this 50-minute video by clicking the play button in the video rectangle below.

Brandt Roberts in The Art of the Entertainer
Brandt as Gerald the janitor as a Viking...it makes sense when you see it!

CREATIVE TEAM

Written and Performed by Brandt Roberts

Directed for Film by Philip Muehe
Cinematography and Editing by Josiah Laubenstein

Stage Manager/Production Manager — Thomas White
Production Assistant — Kelsey Heathcote

Original Scenic Design — Chris Schenning
Original Graphic Design — Matt Higgins

MUSICIANS

Piano — Heidi Dybing & Dr. T. Everett Mobley
Violin — Isabelle Ekstrom
Opera Singer — Limmie Pulliam

SPECIAL THANKS

Stela Burdt, Heather Byrd, Elizabeth Dunn, Phil Dybing, Ben Gorman, Bailey Otto, Megan K. Pence.

PERFORMER'S NOTES

The Art of the Entertainer

The Art of the Entertainer is a very personal piece. Although the first draft was written twelve years ago, it has been a lifetime in the making. Certain scenes and props have their origins in my childhood. In fact, the whole play takes place within the realm of imagination. I guess in many ways that is what it means to be a clown: to view the world through the eyes of a child.

It’s funny to think that vaudeville and the music hall permeated my upbringing whether I realized it or not. Old cartoons I watched were heavily inspired by vaudevillian comedy and then there were classic films filled with veteran performers. It is a style that feels like home.

I have a list of performers who have inspired me a mile long, but I’ll try to shorten the list to five: Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, Harpo Marx, Bill Irwin, and Avner the Eccentric. I think a common theme within these five performers is a sense of impish innocence. As stated above, it all goes back to the beginning: the innocence of childhood.

Finally, in the stage version I wanted the audience to participate, to feel safe and play along! The piece was originally meant to introduce audiences to the world of the stage. If you find yourself humming or dancing at home, don’t stop! Just sing louder! That way you can join in on the journey! I do hope you enjoy this silly trip onto the stage.

Peace and love to you all!

—Brandt Roberts 

Below are two video links for your amusement:

A brief video about silent screen great Buster Keaton — CLICK HERE

A 3-minute video showing the performer Avner the Eccentric in actionCLICK HERE