Square Product Theatre Returns With New Offerings In 2019

After a 16-month hiatus from full production, Boulder-based square product theatre returns in the New Year, with plans for two productions, including the Regional Premiere of London, UK-based theatre-maker Greg Wohead's "Celebration, Florida," and the World Premiere of "Everything was Stolen. ," an original work developed in London, UK by Emily K. Harrison, square product theatre producing artistic director. Featuring two performers who have never met, "Celebration, Florida" is a quietly surreal show for anyone who has ever missed anyone or anything. Veering between reality and simulation, the piece orbits around ideas of surrogacy; a stand-in to replace a person you miss, a re-creation of an experience you can't stop thinking about, nostalgia for a place that perhaps never existed. Greg will speak to the audience through two performers using pre-recorded audio and headphones. They will know almost nothing about the show when they walk onstage.

"Everything was Stolen ." is a piece created from a variety of stolen and original (but mostly stolen) texts, songs, video, images and ephemera in an evocation of America. The piece, created by Emily K. Harrison as part of American playwright Charles Mee's (re)making project, is inspired in part by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi and in part by something American composer John Cage once said: "And so it is out of this chaos, this accumulation of history and novelty, that we begin building."

"Everything was Stolen ." was originally developed and workshopped by Emily K. Harrison with students in the Theatre Program at Brunel University London, and the piece will continue to be developed with a Colorado-based cast for the professional World Premiere.

"We're very excited to be returning from our hiatus with these offerings," says Emily K. Harrison, square product theatre producing artistic director. "For me, both pieces speak to a desire to experience something true, something real in time when we're all inundated by the beautiful and horrible noise of modern life."

Though continuing to produce smaller offerings throughout 2018, including a collaboration with the Non-Binary Monologues Project and a stint as an official selection at New York's United Solo Festival of Theatre, square product theatre took a hiatus from full-scale production due in part to Harrison leaving the United States to serve as a guest artist for a year at Brunel University London. At Brunel, Harrison taught and directed students in the University's prestigious Theatre Program.

"The program at Brunel is known primarily for its strength in devising, including creating original physical theatre, digital theatre, and applied theatre works," Harrison states. "It was the perfect place for me to workshop some new material to then bring back home to Colorado audiences."

Harrison also attended the opening night performance of Wohead's "Celebration, Florida" at London's Soho Theatre, where she met the playwright and hatched a plan to bring his work to Colorado.

"Celebration, Florida is a master planned community in Osceola County near Walt Disney World," says Wohead. "It was originally developed in the '90s by the Walt Disney Company as the ideal American town."

While it shares a name with a real life American city, the play itself is not about Celebration, Florida - at least not directly.

"I wrote 'Celebration, Florida' at a time when I was often at a distance from people and places I loved and felt attached to. I found myself longing for these people and places, and the way I experienced this nostalgia, this rosy idea of what wasn't there in front of me, made me think of The Town of Celebration and how it was created to evoke a nostalgia for things that never really existed.

That same nostalgic feel is evoked in Harrison's "Everything was Stolen ." "Largely, 'Everything was Stolen .' explores America as an idea, or an experiment, and while many experiments succeed, far more of them fail," Harrison says. "The piece is evocative of a vision of America that arguably only ever existed on the surface. The show uses recycled imagery and text that we're working to deconstruct and disrupt in fun and unexpected ways in order to explore and celebrate imperfection, impermanence, and an incomplete state of being. In that respect, I think it speaks to what American really and truly is, and the potential for what it could be. It is, for me, a heartbreaking love letter to America."

"Celebration, Florida" by Greg Wohead produced by square product theatre in both Denver and Boulder Featuring performers from throughout the Front Range

Denver run dates and times: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24; Friday, Jan. 25; Saturday, Jan. 26; Monday, Jan. 28; Thursday, Jan. 31; Friday, Feb. 1; Saturday, Feb. 2 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2 Venue: Buntport Theater 717 Lipan St., Denver, Colo. Tickets: $24 general admission; $15 students; $20 seniors Early Bird Discount for tickets purchased by noon, Jan. 11! Tickets available at https://celebrationflorida.bpt.me or 800-838-3006 Boulder run dates and times: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6; Thursday, Feb. 7; Friday, Feb. 8; Saturday, Feb. 9 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 Venue: Carsen Theater at the Dairy Arts Center 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, Colo. Tickets: $24 general admission; $15 students; $20 seniors Early Bird Discount for tickets purchased by noon, Jan. 11! Tickets available at http://thedairy.org or 303-444-7328.

"Everything was Stolen . " created and directed by Emily K. Harrison produced by square product theatre Featuring Liz Carrigan, Luc D'Arcy, Aziza Gharib, Seth Palmer Harris, Adam Russell Johnson, Jihad Milhem, Katie Ross, Rachel Seiger, Tara Spires, Kristin Marie Stelter, Emily Tuckman, Fabian Vazquez and Ronan Viard Previews: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 14; Friday, March 15 Run dates and times: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 16; Thursday, March 21; Friday, March 22; Saturday, March 23; Thursday, March 28; Friday, March 29; Saturday, March 30; Monday, April 1; Thursday, April 4; Friday, April 5; Saturday, April 6; 3 p.m., Sunday, March 24; Sunday, March 31 Venue: Buntport Theater 717 Lipan St., Denver, Colo.

Tickets: $24 general admission; $15 students; $20 seniors 2-for-1 Thursdays (general admission) Early Bird Discount for tickets purchased by noon, Jan. 11! Tickets available at https://everythingwasstolen.bpt.me or 800-838-3006

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