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The Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble Debuts The Republic of Poetry in June

The Republic of Poetry, a suite of original short verse plays about "love, war and some places in-between," will be presented by the Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble to run from June 9th-June 26th (Thursdays-Sundays at 8:00 PM) at The Medicine Show Theatre.

Conceived by Obie-Award winner Barbara Vann and directed by Vann as well as Aaron Beall, Nicole Colbert and Stelios Manolakakis, the evening comprises the work of 11 poets, each of whom has written a short verse play especially for this project ranging from 2 to 20 minutes in length. Some of the highlights: Filip Marinovich's Salient Mourners, in which the Army presents its official policy on fallen soldiers in Iraq with doublespeak and euphemism,  Denise Duhamel's Pituitary Theft, which is composed entirely of fake English subtitles from Hong Kong movies, and Harry Matthews' Trial Impressions, a suite on the changeability of love.

Contributing poets of The Republic of Poetry include Martin Espada, who has been called "the Latino poet of his generation" and whose latest collection of poetry received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was named an American Library Association Notable Book of the year. His poems have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Harper's, The Nation, and The Best American Poetry.  Others who will debut their suites are Arnold Weinstein, librettist for the opera A View From The Bridge and lyricist for William Bolcom's Casino Paradise, Harry Matthews, whose latest novel The Journalist was acclaimed by the New York Times and Time Out, as well as Bayard, Denise Duhamel, Vincent Katz, Roy Lisker, Filip Marinovich, Simon Pettet, Miriam Sagan and Bruce Weber.

Alex Bilu, Jasha Bilan, Mark Dempsey, Mark Gering, Jason Alan Griffin, Beth Griffith, Kirt Harding, Amanda Ifrah, Monica Lynch, Ward Nixon, Kip Potharas, Ken Scudder, Lisa Shred, Ayanna Siverls and Barbara Vann are featured in the cast of The Republic of Poetry, which is is funded in part by NYSCA, the Axe-Houghton Foundation and the Puffin Foundation.

The Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble was founded in 1970 by Vann and the late James Barbosa.  In a press release, the company describes itself as being "dedicated to offering creative alternatives to conventional theatre by creating and presenting works that experiment with language, music, movement, form and ideas. The works are chosen to delight the mind, honor creativity, confound empty convention, encourage active compassion and present the many facets of the American experience within a global community."

The Medicine Show Theatre is located at 549 West 52nd St., 3rd Floor (between 10th and 11th Ave).

Tickets are $15 and available by calling Theatremania at (212) 352-0255 or ordering through the website.

For more information, visit

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