Peculiar Works Project Announces Location for ANDORBOROS

Peculiar Works Project Announces Location for ANDORBOROS

Peculiar Works Project is thrilled to announce the unique location for their October, site-specific production of Androboros by Robert Hunter. The landmark Fraunces Tavern® Museum on Pearl and Broad Streets will host this world premiere of America's first published play.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, at 7pm throughout October, this 75-minute satirical production is scheduled between NYC's primary and general elections to remind audiences of the current election season and, at the same time, to provide an amusing distraction from it. There will be a special press opening performance on Monday, October 9th.

Before Hamilton, before Washington, before even much of Manhattan existed, there was Androboros! Mixing Elizabethan language with the commedia del arte of its day, this new adaptation will feature over a dozen original songs played live with a dancing, 10-member cast in an intimate setting. Based on a true incident that scandalized the young New York colony, the play is a great history lesson that is as funny and entertaining today as it was in 1714.

Built at the same time as the play was written, the Museum will offer audiences a chance to view its period rooms and artifacts on their way to its historic Flag Gallery, where this original production will take place. Thanks to a LMCC Creative Engagement grant, Peculiar Works performing Androboros in the neighborhood in which it is set, and originally written, will highlight the incredible history and local character that make Lower Manhattan so special.

After a sold-out, 3-night workshop in the Overthrow boxing ring before last November's election, a full run demanded a completely different site-specific venue, and Fraunces Tavern brings this creation back to the history of the play itself. This is a rare chance to see what America's first play might have been like on a stage where it could have actually taken place in the early 1700's.

More than just America's first play, Androboros exposes many surprising comparisons to the current political scene with an edgy humor that couldn't be more right for our non-stop partisan madness. 300 years later, its parallels to today's trendy rebellion against an ambiguous "establishment" government or "deep state" are both undeniable and comical.

The New York colony had already endured a slew of horrible leaders by the time Robert Hunter arrived in 1710. As the new Governor in town, he was stymied at every turn by an entrenched and contentious Assembly. He endured America's first political gridlock in silence, but later wrote this clever satire to relieve his frustration and hit back at his political enemies.

Androboros is a biting critique of early political angst when colonials had little faith in their provisional government. Based on a true story of intrigue and crime (The Vestment Scandal of 1714), it's filled with witty wordplay, slapstick comedy, and scatological humor that are just as hilarious today. The characters are real-life people given sarcastic names, embarrassing dialogue, and farcical actions. These colonial clowns capture the craziness of governance, proving that little has changed in the games of politics.

With themes like blind justice and the impeachment of truth, the play is a precursor to the First Amendment as well as foreshadowing the "consent of the governed" as codified in the Declaration of Independence. As we continue to struggle with how, and how much, to give consent in a democracy, Androboros puts current events in a much-needed, humorous perspective.

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