Michael Dalberg, a graduate of Richland Center High School and old favorite of the Richland County theatre community, is not only providing a great example of the talent that comes from Richland County, but also making his mark from Chicago to Scotland.
This summer, Dalberg will be an internationally produced playwright, as an original work of his, “Family Values,” will be done as part of the world famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
Every year thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters to everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.
In recent years, Dalberg graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Richland and continued his education at UW-Parkside in Kenosha, where he honed his skills as an actor (last seen in Richland Center as Captain Hook in Community Players of Southwestern Wisconsin’s production of “Peter Pan: The Musical”), director, and playwright. Upon graduation, Dalberg did a stint in Minnesota, worked in Kenosha and Milwaukee, and moved to Chicago to cultivate his craft.
His play, “Family Values,” is a suspenseful drama about two brothers, Liam and Trent Banger, who live just outside the Everglades in Florida. The catch? They have just killed their parents, who were the leaders of a mafia family headquartered in Florida, and whom they hadn’t seen in a decade or more. Back at their home in the Everglades, Liam and Trent must learn how to be a real family, just the two of them, after years of crime. Just as their bond seems to strengthen, two strangers arrive at their hard-to-find home: May and Frank Abbey, who are not what they seem. Are these people here by accident, or have they been sent by other members of the mafia? Or worse?
The play examines what it means to truly be a family, what lengths one will go in the name of family, and asks the question “Can you ever escape your family?” Better yet, “Do you ever really want to escape them?”
“Family Values” has been selected to be performed August 5 through 27, at one of the centermost venues in Edinburgh, with a 7:30 p.m. primetime slot! This show is sure to sell out for most its 20 nights of performances, and may very well reach beyond the festival in years to come. As such, Dalberg will be going to see the show at the Festival to see his play be produced for the first time. This is a costly trip, however, and Dalberg has set up a GoFundMe account to raise the money necessary to get there. For more information regarding the show, and to donate to Dalberg’s trip overseas, the fundraiser can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/7vwe4m8c. There are tiers of prizes for those who donate, including posters, and a signed copy of the script! If Dalberg surpasses his $2,000 goal, extra funds will go to pay the artists involved in taking the show to the festival (including the actors and technicians).