Artists’ Ensemble opens Mauritius March 18

Casiena Raether as Jackie and Mark Ulrich as Sterling in Artists’ Ensemble’s Mauritius. (Photo by John Cobb)

From press release

Jackie is way overdue for a little luck by the time she gets her hands on a couple of old stamps that just might be worth a fortune in the suspense thriller Mauritius, at Artists’ Ensemble (AE).

Playwright Theresa Rebeck proves that stamp collecting, the gentle pastime of geezers and geeks, can be risky. Five people bully, scheme, lie and betray one another as they scramble for possession of two tiny slips of paper that, in the words of New York magazine, “have the power of Frodo’s ring.” Performances are March 18-April 3 in the Cheek Theatre at Rockford College.

The New York Times noted, “there is at least one betrayal per scene in Mauritius,” and that lack of trust is what will keep the audience guessing.

AE Artistic Director Richard Raether said: “It’s a play about obsession and greed. It is also about family. Jackie’s sister, Mary, also lays claim to the stamps, which are discovered in the home of the sisters’ deceased mother. The strain between sisters adds depth to their struggle over the stamps.”

Casiena Raether makes her AE debut in the role of Jackie, with Betsie Swartz, last seen in AE’s Rabbit Hole, as Mary. Three obsessed collectors circling like sharks are played by Jamie Button, last seen in AE’s Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, and Chicago guest actors Mickey Stegall and Mark Ulrich.

Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Thursday tickets are $19. Tickets for other shows are $28, $26 for seniors, and $10 for students.

Purchase tickets online at or by calling (815) 904-2277.

From the March 16-22, 2011, issue

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