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March 30, 2011 

Contact David Gardiner at 608-796-3790 or 


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University theatre students and musicians will present the dark comedy The Hostage by Brendan Behan Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 and Thursday, April 14–Sunday, April 17 in the Fine Arts Center La Croix Black Box Theatre. 

The Hostage is the story of the IRA’s kidnapping of a British soldier, who they plan to use as a bargaining chip for the release of an IRA prisoner set to be executed in Belfast the following morning. The British soldier is kept in a run-down Irish pub full of colorful and eccentric characters. The prisoner’s presence prompts a great deal of discussion about Irish nationalism and Britain’s involvement in colonial affairs. 

“The play is a celebration of life, and the underlying message is to live and let live,” said David Gardiner, Viterbo theatre department faculty member who is directing the production. “It’s better to sit down and have a Guinness with someone than to shoot them.” 

Playwright Brendan Behan uses humor to attack political, religious, and moral fanatics and their hypocrisy. The play’s non-realistic style more closely resembles an Irish party than a traditional plot structure. Characters burst into song, deep subjects are undercut with humor, and there is interaction with the audience. 

The Hostage will feature great Irish music, and the scope of the play has been updated and widened to make it more relevant to today’s audience.  

“It will be an entertaining night for the audience,” Gardiner said. 

All performances are at 7:30 p.m., except Sunday, April 17, which will be held at 2 p.m. An Arts in Context discussion with Gardiner will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 9 and April 15 in the La Croix Black Box Theatre. 

Tickets are $10 for general admission seating. For more information, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or 



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