"Arms and the Man" to be Staged March 13-15

By Barb Lang

“Arms and the Man” by George Bernard Shaw is a humorous play which shows the futility of war and deals with the hypocrisies of human nature in a comedic fashion.  The UW-Barron County will present this production on Thursday – Saturday, March 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Theatre.

Set during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War, the heroine, Raina Petkoff is a young Bulgarian woman engaged to Sergius Saranoff, a hero of the war whom she idolizes.  One night a Swiss mercenary soldier in the Serbian army, Captain Bluntschli, bursts through her bedroom window; Raina thinks of him as a coward.  

Through the interactions between these main characters, Shaw aims to debunk the romantic heroics of war and seeks to remove all pretensions of nobility from war.  As the play progresses, Bluntschli’s unheroic actions become reasonable when we see that he survives, whereas had the war continued, Sergius’ absurd heroic exploits would soon have left him dead.  Throughout the play, which was first produced in 1894, Shaw arranged his material so as to satirize the glories associated with war and to ultimately suggest that aristocratic pretensions have no place in today’s wars.

“Arms and the Man” is produced by director Terry Wiesner and assistant director Sharai Hefty of Rice Lake.  Cast members are Emily Weiler of Rice Lake as Raina Petkoff, John Lloyd of Shell Lake as Captain Bluntschli, Cody Bailey of New Auburn as Major Sergius Saranoff, Helen Goosby of Barron as Catherine Petkoff, Alex Fraatz of Spooner as Major Paul Petkoff, Tyler Harrell of Shell Lake as Nicola, Gabriella Ashlin of Rice Lake as Louka, and Samuel Foight of Centuria as the soldier.

The production’s costumes are courtesy of the Costume Rentals, Inc. and The Guthrie Theatre/Minnesota Children’s Theatre collections.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students of all ages.  To make a reservation call the UW-BC box office at 715.234.8176 ext. 5457 or email Terry Wiesner at terry.wiesner@uwc.edu.


Terry Wiesner