Stop us if you’ve heard this old story before: Boy meets girl at youth contraception PSA video shoot. Boy and girl start texting, then boy mistakenly posts a dick pic on social media and gets arrested. So goes the story of Dick Pix Montana, a locally-produced play that combines an increasingly common modern occurrence of sexting with elements of Romeo & Juliet.
Michael Christopher, the writer and director of Dick Pix Montana, says the inspiration for his Shakespeare-meets-Snapchat play came after noticing a rise in phone-related faux pas in the news.
“It seemed like every month or so, a story came about a group of high school kids getting themselves in trouble with their phones—but like, big trouble, as in one was getting charged with distributing child pornography and was in danger of being tagged as a sex offender for the rest of their lives,” Christopher says. “It seems like a variation of the story in the play has happened at most high schools across the country, and every couple months, another version pops up in the headlines.”
Christopher, the mind behind Spread The Nudes and Lobotomy: The Musical!, combined his background in the educational field with his playwriting experience and musical acumen to inform the script of Dick Pix Montana, and its overriding concept of banishment.
“I teach high school kids and it’s interesting to see how different their experience is compared to mine, largely due to the fact that every kid has a phone these days,” Christopher says. “This got me thinking about Romeo and Juliet and how different their experience of being banished would be nowadays, which is how the Romeo and Juliet allusions started to become part of the show.”
The writer and director originally produced the show at Broom Street Theater in Madison, but says he made numerous changes to the script after the first performances, which he feels warranted a run of its own here in Milwaukee.
Dick Pix Montana‘s cast is highlighted by Katie Katschke in the role of Julia Capullo. Christopher worked with Katschke on Lobotomy: The Musical! and Evil Dead. She’s also had lead roles in Sunset Playhouse productions of Little Shop Of Horrors and The Addams Family. Recent UW-Milwaukee theater program grad Bryson Langer plays the eponymous part of Richard “Picks” Montana.
If you see one theatrical work in Milwaukee this month that’s about somebody getting arrested for accidentally putting a picture of their penis on Snapchat, it should probably be Dick Pix Montana. You can see the show at The Alchemist Theatre on March 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17. Tickets are $15 in advance ($17 at the door). The March 9 performance will be followed by and after party with music from Something To Do, Mechanical Life Vein, and Uncle Fergus’s Magic Whiskey Band, as well as stand-up from Matt Werner, Stacy Pawlowski, Greg Bach, Tyler Menz, and Christopher Schmidt.