The New York International Fringe Festival has returned after a year hiatus with a phenomenal line-up of original shows. The festival kicked off on October 1st and runs until the 31st. I caught up with Edward Einhorn the playwright and director of The Resistable Rise of J.R. Brinkley - the true story of a 1920's con man told with country music, to find out more about this compelling production. What was the main impetus for choosing to create this work? After the 2016 election, I started hosting “resistance readings,” theater written in countries facing political crises, in order to figure out what
This is the third time I have had the honor of reviewing a show by the colossal talent that is Ji Young Choi. She is a South Korean performer who blends classical Shakespearian texts with rituals and cultural practices from her home country to create an entirely new form. In Love Deadline she tackles the inner thoughts of the character of Desdemona as she stays isolated in her tea room for seven days wrestling with the source of Othello’s unexplained rage. This production had its world premiere at the United Solo Theatre Festival – a perfect platform for a solo
Lico Whitfield It was a powerful experience witnessing Gabriel Jason Dean’s production, “Triggered” presented by THE AMORALISTS - (“a diverse collective of uncompromising artists”). The show forms part of their 2018/2019 season entitled RICOCHET: An Amoralists Anthology about Surviving an American Epidemic, that features four original, intersecting plays that follow a community as it copes with the aftermath of a mass shooting. These four plays are being developed through their ‘Wright Club’ playwriting initiative where three writers tackle one unifying event. The three distinct perspectives are created by Gabriel Jason Dean, Charly Evon Simpson, and James Anthony Tyler. The season will
THE AЯTS makes you want to start a revolution. It’s a powerful wake-up call to take action. The urgent litany at the end of the play - “It’s time to save the NEA, we must save the NEA again,” has become an urgent mantra on repeat in my head since watching this vital production. We’re like frogs in a pot not realizing that the water is getting hotter. With so much political ‘drama’ coming out of Washington D.C., we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that real artists are losing funding. The National Endowment of the Arts is under threat
Pavla Niklova is the Executive director of the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation (VHLF) and Artistic Director of The Rehearsal for Truth Festival. I met with her in the Dvorak Room at The Bohemian National Hall to discuss the upcoming theater festival from September 25 – 29, 2018. The VHLF together with the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA), will partner with Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak performing arts and cultural institutions to host the second year of a unique festival presenting the best in contemporary Central European theater. What gave you the idea to create The Rehearsal for Truth theater festival
What Would Tilda Swinton Do is an ode to the underground, to the spirit of hedonism and to the irrepressible urge to push conventional boundaries. It’s a personality driven performance art, musical, Venus flytrap. The cheeky exuberance of the four artists draws you into their vortex with the hypnotic, curled finger of Beelzebub. You are more than willing to jump on the back of their “Bikerbraut” vibrating machine and head off into the night on the strains of their “lazy punk” groove. What Would Tilda Swinton Do is what happens when actors, musicians, artists and outsiders climb into the king sized
Worse Than Tigers is a bone-chilling, panic-attack inducing, primal, bloody, life resuscitator…and its funny. It’s a theatrical “Black Mirror”. What happens when we anesthetize ourselves from all of our feelings, cauterize all emotions and live in a “safe” controlled, flatlined existence? Will our demons and dark sides make their presence felt at all costs? Will emotions literally coming knocking at our door? This play is a discourse on the repercussions of repressing all “negative” feelings. It’s sneaky. It engages your intellect with complex, clever, funny dialogue revealing marital detachment, and then it pounces like a stalking animal that’s been biding
You’ll LOVE it! It’s Meredith Monk meets Laurie Anderson meets Urban Word meets Meryn Cadell meets Spalding Gray to create a spoken word duet that riffs on where we seek, find and lose love. It is a wellspring of tender and feisty fragments of Love stories in all of its guises. Vichet Chum and Laura Gragtmans’ work epitomizes good old fashioned great storytelling with an atmospheric, original underscore that transforms the heartbeat of inner anxiety and desire into sound waves, rhythms and repetitions. It’s a happy marriage of “wordsmithing” and technology, visual dazzle and aural titillation, skilled performers and onstage chemistry.
In 1963, Peter Hall and John Barton crafted a defining trilogy - The Wars of the Roses, out of the texts of Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. It was a production that would bring global attention to the newly formed Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2015, director Trevor Nunn attempted a similar feat with his production of The Wars of the Roses which was a 9-hour experience of these four plays, that took place on an entire Saturday. In Austin Pendleton’s 2018 production of Wars of the Roses: Henry VI & Richard III he compresses Henry VI part 3
The Hole is one of the most powerful productions I have ever seen. I know in the future when this show achieves its meteoric success, I will remember fondly that I got to see its magnificence before the ticket prices were Hamilton impossible. It’s that perfect confluence of a sagacious playwright, astounding performers and an intuitive director. I was totally absorbed in every single moment, character transformation and life lesson – I was literally on the edge of my seat, craning forward towards the action, unable to look away. Zhailon Levingston has written this piece in the blood of our time.