Know Theatre to Present THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY WAY, 4/4-5/3
Long Beach, California. 1914. A scourge of homosexuality plagues the city.The Long Beach Police hire two actors to entrap gay men in the crime of "social vagrancy."
In an empty theatre, two actors meet while awaiting an audition. As tension between them mounts, they find themselves playing the story of a near forgotten piece of American history -- a story from a time when people were prosecuted for daring to be themselves. But the truth of who these actors really are is slowly exposed as the story unzips. Performances run April 4-May 3 at Know Theatre in Over-the-Rhine.
A highly theatrical exploration of performance and the masks we all wear in our everyday lives, The Twentieth-Century Way is part engaging historical drama, part acting tour de force, and part incisive social commentary.
"This is the kind of play that begs to be staged," says Know's incoming Artistic Director Andrew Hungerford. "Tom Jacobson utilizes the kind of quick character shifts and theatricality that we normally associate with madcap, small cast comedies, like The 39 Steps, in service of a story that, while playful, has decidedly serious undercurrents."
Director Kimberly Faith Hickman (Assistant Director of Broadway's Clybourne Park and The Assembled Parties) helms the show in her first Mainstage production with Know Theatre. "The Twentieth-Century Way is one of the most surprising plays I have ever directed," Kimberly says. "With its muscular theatricality and unpredictable plot twists, the play takes audiences on a ride that they have never experienced before - leading the audience to often consider 'what is true?' and 'what is real?' "
"It's fascinating to me that there are such egregious pieces of our collective history that few remember or have ever heard of," says current Producing Artistic Director Eric Vosmeier. "I'm pleased Andrew has chosen this show which gives voice to stories that may not otherwise have one. This production marks Andrew's first in his capacity as the next Artistic Director for Know Theatre. I'm thrilled with his selection, casting, and production crew. I look forward to sitting back with the audience to watch this production unfold under his leadership."