Show Summary

Role: Mayor Klugg

Authorship: Ensemble Devised Production

CompanyTheatre B

Performance Dates: August 13 – 14, 2015

Number of Performances: 4

Style: Performance Art and Art Installation in an Art Museum


The Oil Project was co-commissioned by The Plains Art Museum and Theatre B to coincide with the end of The Plains Art Museum’s ‘Bakken Boom! Artists Respond to the North Dakota Oil Rush’ exhibit.

The commissioned ensemble decided to use a research-based authorship method called devising to produce a performance art piece and art installation subsequently titled ‘The Oil Project.’ The ensemble researched the oil fields and the subsequent oil boom in western North Dakota: the benefits, detriments, controversies, public and media perceptions, environmental impact, bureaucracy, and people affected. From this research the ensemble developed characters, performances, and music to depict accurate experiences of the Bakken and its boom.

Media Coverage

The Oil Project – Theatre B Blog – July 16, 2005

The Company – Theatre B Blog – August 5, 2016

On Devising ‘The Oil Project’ – Theatre B Blog – August 5, 2016

Preview of the Performance – InForum – August 10, 2015

Playbill Biography

Matthew M. Collie is making his third collaboration with Theatre B, having previously been Anton Schindler in 33 Variations and Dr. Jason Posner in Wit.  He was also Basil Bennett in FMCT’s The Diviners.  Matthew grew up listening to the soothing rhythm of rail trains and whistles in southern Minnesota – now a center for silica sand mining.  A recent(-ish) transplant to the prairie, Matthew enjoys again living in a rail town and watching the trains.  Rail sends sand west; rail brings oil east.  Matthew works for CoreLink Administrative Solutions in Fargo.

Production Photo Credits

Production photos were taken by the talented and soft spoken Kensie Wallner. If you like the work, please support her by patronizing Kensie Wallner Photography LLC.

Other production photos, "Drill Frack," "Pump Jack Dance Duet (Lampost 2), and itisbgun's video, were taken by the public in attendance for the performance and uploaded to social media.

#oilproject by Theater B

A video posted by Ben Gunderson (@itisbgun) on