Back to the Article|
by BWW News Desk
Metropolitan Playhouse, Obie Award winner for exploring American culture through theater, hosts The Founder's Festival, the theater's eighth annual Living Literature Festival of performances inspired by the lives and works of the individuals who helped to shape America. The Festival is a collection of eight new works by artists and companies from near and far taking their inspiration from the Founding Father's public and private lives. Each new work is presented four times over the festival. (Project descriptions and schedule follow.) Several evenings will be complemented by readings of salient documents.
Additionally, an exhibition of thematically-linked art will be on display in the theater's lobby, and singer Justin Flagg (of the New Students) will perform at an opening reception.
Performances take place daily from January 14 to 27, 2013 at the Metropolitan Playhouse.
Opening Reception and Exhibition: January 14 at 8:30 pm.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.metropolitanplayhouse.org, or by phone at 800-838-3006. Tickets for all programs are $18.
The Founders Festival includes one-act and full-length plays, ranging from adaptation to biographical fantasy. 28 performances over two weeks of new plays by various artists and companies, all inspired by the writing of the founding fathers and mothers of the United States. Drawn from sources as diverse as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Aaron Burr AbiGail Adams, and Phillis Wheatley, as well as iconoclasts like Daniel Shay, these new plays and musicals comprise the 8th Annual Living Literature Festival of new theater drawn from great writers and thinkers in the American estate.
Artist participants in the festival include the New York Neo-Futurists (creators of the long-running, award-winning Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind); LuLu LoLo (Mother Cabrini, Saint of the Immigrants); Montgomery Sutton (La Fin du Monde - 2011 shortlist, Short + Sweeties, Brisbane); Dan Evans (Henry's Lunchroom, "Great job!" - nytheatre.com); Andrea Pinyan (A Brief History of Cross Dressing in the Civil War); Zero Boy (Alice in Zeroland - Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris); Vladimir Zevelinsky (Themes and Variations and Silence - two time finalist for the Heideman Award); and David Koteles (Bald Diva!: The Ionesco Parody Your Mother Warned You About - GLAAD Nominated).
Previous years' festivals were the Poefest (2006), Twainathon (2007), Hawthornucopia (2008-"exhilarating"--nytheatre.com), and Melvillapalooza (2009 "divine.... put the life and works of Melville in a new light" - New Theatre Corps), Another Sky (2010), and A Harlem Renaissance Festival (2011 - "very satisfying indeed" -- nytheatre.com), The Horatio Alger Festival (2012). Metropolitan Playhouse explores America's theatrical and cultural moment. Metropolitan has earned accolades from The New York Times, The Village Voice, BackStage, and nytheatre.com. Notable productions include The Boss, Both Your Houses, The House of Mirth, The Jazz Singer, From Rags to Riches, One-Third of a Nation, The Great Divide, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Drunkard, Dodsworth, The Return of Peter Grimm, Year One of the Empire, The Pioneer: 5 plays by Eugene O'Neill, and Denial.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS (In order of first festival presentation.)
The New York Neo-Futurists (15 new plays)
present 15 short plays based on George Washington's Rules of Civility. This evening will be accompanied by readings of letters exchanged between John and AbiGail Adams.
The Parchment Copy (A new play)
by Dan Evans A Lulu LoLo Production (New York)
July 4, 1776: the Declaration of Independence proclaimed the birth of our new nation. August 2, 1776 : the Continental Congress reconvened to actually sign the great document. On the eve of the signing, at Benjamin Franklin's home in Philadelphia, eight leading Patriots are drawn together in these perilous times that try men's souls.
From Shore To Shore (A new play)
by LuLu LoLo A Lulu LoLo Production (New York)
A farcical melodrama portraying the ghostly laments of Aaron Burr and his daughter, Theodosia Burr Alston, as they haunt the shorelines of Battery Park and South Carolina. Burr, remembered as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton, was also a visionary who advocated the rights of women.
A Room In The Middle (A new play)
by Vladimir Zevelinsky (Massachusetts)
1787, Massachusetts. Farmers, returning from the Revolutionary War, find their homes in foreclosure. The Farmers decide to protest and begin what will be known as Shays' Rebellion. After a disastrous attempt to take the Springfield arsenal, the surviving rebels are pursued through the blizzard by a superior force of state regulars. Three rebels are cornered in an abandoned farmhouse and have less than an hour to decide how their futures will enfold...
Your Colonel (A new play)
by Montgomery Sutton (New York)
In July 1776, the Declaration of Independence is the last thing on the mind of young Colonel Aaron Burr. As the British fleet lands on Staten Island, Burr's romance with the 15-year-old daughter of a British Major and his longstanding battle of principles with George Washington collide to set him on the path towards becoming our most vilified founding father.
Revolt! Death! And Taxes! (A new play)
by Zero Boy (New York)
The Boston Revolt sparked the American Revolution and Independence. The man that all the founding fathers thought of as the founder was Sam Adams. Beer maker or muckraker? Riot leader or politician? Zero Boy takes you on sonic, comic, and visual journey to Boston and England to learn what really happened!
My First Lady (A new play)
By David Koteles JAJ Productions (New York)
March 1801: You are cordially invited to join Martha Washington, AbiGail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Thomas Jefferson's daughters for an afternoon of tea and pleasantries at the newly-opened President's House. All slaves must be left at the door. My First Lady seeks to explore how a tea party becomes a battle of race, class, gender and the American Dream...
A Servant For Life (A new play)
by Andrea Pinyan A Radiohound production (New York)
An imagined meeting of Thomas Jefferson--a founding father with conflicting beliefs on slavery--and Phillis Wheatley - a slave who earned her freedom though her poetry, confronts his attitudes towards her race and her definition of freedom.