Frederick Douglass meets Donald Rumsfeld in Andrew Saito’s Mount Misery.
African-American Shakespeare Company and the Cutting Ball Theater each reinvent Antigone.
Three Bay Area companies adapt the same Greek tragedy at the same time.
Somebody’s trying to tell you something, and it’s clearly something desperately important, but you can’t understand. That’s what it feels like watching Superheroes, the world premiere by Sean San Jose that opens Cutting Ball’s 16th season.
Paris youth are revolting in Cutting Ball’s verbose dystopian French play. My review‘s in the Marin Independent Journal.
Sometimes, no matter how avant-garde a play’s language or structure may be, it can be reduced to a simple thesis statement. Basil Kreimendahl’s Sidewinders, for example, now premiering with the Cutting Ball Theater, boils down to “Binary gender distinctions are overrated.” And Diana Amsterdam’s Carnival Round the Central Figure, produced by Symmetry Theatre Company at Live Oak Theatre, declares in no uncertain terms that people should accept death as part of life and not pretend it isn’t happening.
It’s a madhouse. When you enter the Exit on Taylor to see Cutting Ball Theater’s world premiere of Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night by the company’s new resident playwright, Andrew Saito, there’s all kinds of unnerving behavior going on. There’s a legless old man in a wheelchair (David Sinaiko) hollering at people in a gravelly voice. Growling sounds pervade Cliff Caruthers’s sound design. An unstable-looking young man (Wiley Naman Strasser) is praying at the foot of a bed in the second floor of Michael Locher’s unnerving two-story set, with grungy brown walls and a white tile-lined staircase. A glamorous young woman (a magnetic Felicia Benefield) uses the bed to straddle some guy, a man in a suit (Drew Wolff) looks around fretfully, and people generally mill around in a volatile daze like inmates in an asylum.
The Cutting Ball Theater is big on the avant-garde classics, and now it unveils a new translation of Eugène Ionesco’s The Chairs that can be hard to sit through. My review‘s in today’s Marin Independent Journal.
The Cutting Ball Theater’s experimental play festival Risk Is This is coming up this weekend, and I talked to artistic director Rob Melrose about it for the Marin Independent Journal. The feature is up on the IJ website for your perusal if you wanna read all about it.
The Cutting Ball Theater is marking the centennial of August Strindberg’s death in a very big way, performing all five of the seminal Swedish playwright’s Chamber Plays together in repertory for the first time in any language. They’re all in new translations by Paul Walsh, three of them commissioned by Cutting Ball, and all newly published as a book by Exit Press. The plays are split into three separate bills that have been rolled out gradually since October 12, allowing one double bill to get on its feet before opening the next, but last weekend and this coming, final weekend all five plays are performed in all-day marathons from noon to close to midnight.