A Festival of Fools theatre company is pleased to announce the world premiere of an original, full-length verse play: "The Zeal of the Zealot: Being the Tale in Which Impostor Finds His Faith," written by artistic director Timothy Bungeroth.
Performances are September 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 8 p.m. at the Balcony Theater located inside the West-Park Presbyterian Church, a landmarked church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
The Indomitable Impostor (a primordial trickster spirit) returns to the stage in the concluding chapter of The Holy Thrillogy of modern verse plays, all written by Bungeroth and produced by A Festival of Fools.
We find Impostor, humbled and contrite, accounting for his past sins in a monastery and rejecting his previous devious ways. But a pair of bumbling, sexually ambiguous heralds (who appear only in his head) start meddling with his peaceful existence. They throw a saucy dame his way and watch the drama unfold as Impostor must decide between his true, irreverent nature and his new, imposed docility.
Will Impostor crumble under his guilt or triumph despite it? Can he listen to the voices in his head without going mad? Will the pontificating monks and horrified nuns stand in the way of his true love? Will those three sisters ever stop squabbling and will their Mother's hair ever finish drying? These questions and more will be answered, with robust bouts of sword fighting and general mayhem, set to an original score by Brian Kirchner.The Balcony Theater is the former home of the Riverside Shakespeare Company, which produced classical plays on the thrust stage there in the 1980s. The unique space has been relatively unused in recent years, but is now being revived as part of the Center at West-Park, a shared-space facility housed in the historic West-Park Presbyterian Church on the Upper West Side.
West-Park Church, constructed in 1889 and recently designated a New York City landmark, has a history of promoting social justice and equality. It was the first Presbyterian church in the country to openly welcome gay and lesbian parishioners in 1978, and has remained a strong voice for equality and rights for the LGBT community. The church also actively supported the Occupy Wall Street movement and continues to work with local community groups to promote fair labor practices and social justice causes.
The non-profit company was founded in 2009, following the production of a free show in Prospect Park of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. From there, A Festival of Fools has continued to produce both old and obscure works of verse (including a William Butler Yeats play and the world premiere of a new translation of Pedro Calderon de la Barca's Life is a Dream) as well as original plays written by Timothy Bungeroth, the company's founder and artistic director.
The company's mission is to make verse plays more fun and accessible for a modern audience, by reviving little-known works by Shakespeare's contemporaries and by creating new works of verse written in present-day vernacular. Throwing in a healthy dose of sword fighting and buffoonery also helps enliven the medium.
For more information about the company, the show and the production team and cast, visit www.afestivaloffools.com.
Tickets are available at www.zoz.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors. The Thursday, September 20 performance is a pay-what-you-can night.