NYU Skirball Presents Two New York Premieres From The U.K.'s Acclaimed Forced Entertainment Theater Company

NYU Skirball's 2018-19 season will open at midnight on September 8, 2018 with two New York premieres from Forced Entertainment, one of the U.K.'s most exciting experimental theater companies: And on the Thousandth Night..., an overnight fairytale of epic proportions, and Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare, a six-night retelling of the entire Shakespearean canon - with everyday household objects standing in for the heroes and heroines.


Saturday, September 8, midnight - 6 am

This may be the longest all-night bedtime story ever told. Inspired by the classic story, "One Thousand and One Nights," Tales of the Arabian Nights, the storytelling begins at midnight and continues until dawn, with never-ending tales that explore the relationship between a story, its storyteller, and its audience.

A story is told, made up live, dragged from memory by a line of performers who compete, interrupting, exaggerating, taking over each other's narratives and incorporating stolen bits into their own tales. It is a long, mutating and endlessly self-cancelling story. It's a story that shifts register and genre - from folk tale to parable, from pub anecdote to half-remembered film plot, from raucous joke to ghost story, kids story or philosophical fable. Video: And on the Thousandth Night

Audiences are free to come and go over the course of the six-hour performance.


Tuesday, September 11 - Sunday, September 16

A Salt and Pepper shaker for the king and queen. A ruler for the prince. A spoon for the servant. Lighter fluid for the Innkeeper. A water bottle for the messenger.

One by one, Forced Entertainment performers condense every Shakespeare play ever written into a series of 36 intimate and lovingly made miniatures, played out on an everyday table-top using a collection of un-extraordinary everyday objects. The stories of the plays vividly come to life over six nights, as the act of storytelling and theater itself is celebrated.

Forced Entertainment has long had an obsession with virtual or described performance, exploring in different ways over the years the possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and narratives using language alone. In a brand-new direction for the company, Complete Works explores the dynamic force of narrative in a simple and idiosyncratic summary of Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, histories and late plays, creating worlds as vivid as they are strange. Video: Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare

Tickets for each play are $10; a four-play discount is available for $30. (See schedule below for complete schedule).

Forced Entertainment, based in Sheffield, U.K., was founded in 1984 by six theater artists who have sustained a unique collaborative practice for more than thirty years, confirming their position as trailblazers in contemporary theater. Touring and presenting their ground-breaking provocative performances across the UK, mainland Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and further afield, the group produces work that explores and often explodes the conventions of genre, narrative and theater itself, drawing influence not just from drama but from dance, performance art, music culture and popular forms such as cabaret and stand-up. The company's substantial canon of work reflects an interest in the mechanics of performance, the role of the audience and the machinations of contemporary urban life. Its trademark collaborative process - devising work as a group through improvisation, experimentation and debate - has made them pioneers of British avant-garde theater and earned them an unparalleled international reputation. www.forcedentertainment.com/

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